Despite long-standing security and compliance concerns over the use of off-premise data storage, the UK’s public sector is now rapidly establishing itself as a prolific public cloud user.
This is according to the results of a survey of 600 business decision-makers from across the country, which found that almost nine in ten public sector organisations (85 per cent) use public cloud services in some form.
Conducted jointly by EMC, VCE and VMware, and published on August 6th, the study showed that affordability is the biggest driver behind public cloud adoption in government. Over a third (34 per cent) of respondents cited this as their main motivation, compared to just 20 per cent who thought public cloud was “the right solution” for their applications in general.
VMware Head of Public Sector Strategy Andy Tait, who described the survey results as “very positive”, said this demonstrated how respondents are “using public cloud services to drive efficiencies across the organisation”.
This applies to internal employee workflows, but also to “speed the delivery of citizen-focused services” such as passport applications, he continued.
Asked to identify which public cloud services they were using in particular, 43 per cent of respondents said Google App Engine, while 14 per cent were customers of Amazon Web Services.
Meanwhile, a not-insignificant one in four (26 per cent) preferred to work with smaller, UK-based public cloud providers over global companies like Google and Amazon.
Based on these and other results from the survey, as well as residual security and compliance issues, the researchers suggested that hybrid cloud environments will make the most sense for public sector organisations in the long run.
Some may also have to renew their data recovery strategies in order to cater to virtualised systems, such as those used by the majority of public cloud providers.
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