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Legacy IT ‘holding back council cloud adoption’


Socitm and Eduserv research highlights continued reliance on on-premise infrastructure and majority use of hybrid IT model

The demands of running legacy IT are slowing down the adoption of cloud computing systems by local authorities, according to new research.

Public sector IT association Socitm has published the findings alongside a report compiled with not-for-profit technology provider Eduserv.

Titled Local Government cloud adoption in 2018, it says there is still some way to go before most councils can say they are ‘cloud first’ in how they deploy IT.

The survey comprised freedom of information requests to councils late last year that produced 373 responses.

Among the findings was that, although 62% now use some cloud infrastructure, this has increased by just 10% since the previous study two years ago, and only 40% say they have a cloud policy or strategy in place.

At the same time, 81% are maintaining on-premise infrastructure, and 64% say they are running a hybrid IT model.

In addition, more councils are using hyper-scale public cloud (36%) than private cloud (27%).

Concern at hesitancy

Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, said: “It’s concerning that some councils are still hesitant to adopt cloud technology, especially when you consider the benefits that come from it in terms of efficiency, productivity, modernisation, agility and unlocking legacy IT.

“I would urge local authorities to rationalise software portfolios and to put in place intelligent policies to embrace cloud offerings for the benefit of citizens.”

Andy Powell, chief technology officer at Eduserv, said: “Speaking to IT leaders for this research it’s clear that there is a ‘cloud first’ intent across local government and a real hunger to use the new applications and infrastructure that cloud offers in order to make a real difference to the way councils operate.

“Unfortunately, a legacy IT hangover, caused by outstanding contractual obligations and the demands of maintaining or upgrading old systems so they remain fit for purpose, is slowing the rate at which councils can move forward.

“To better equip their organisations for a digital future it is clear that councils need to move quickly to formalise their approach to cloud IT, educate their organisations about the business outcomes that cloud can deliver and shift focus from maintaining IT to partnering the business through that change.”

Image by Wing-Chi Poon, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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