The United Kingdom is set to re-evaluate the cloud-first policy it implemented back in 2013. Computer Business Review (CBR) noted that the review will occur because of mounting costs connected to the policy’s implementation. The UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Government Digital Service (GDS) will conduct the re-evaluation.
What is the cloud-first policy?
The GDS clarified that the policy mandates public organizations to consider cloud storage solutions first during procurement processes for services. This requires central government agencies to fully look at cloud options prior to considering other storage solutions. However, the GDS emphasizes that this is “strongly recommended to the wider public sector.”
The GDS adds that “Cloud First” refers to the use of the “public cloud rather than a community, hybrid or private deployment model.” This is because the solution offers the primary benefits the UK government is aiming for.
Agencies retain the freedom to pick more suitable alternatives to this type of storage as long as it finds more cost-efficient options. These organizations should provide solid proofs showing that the choice “offers better value for money.”
Her Majesty’s Treasury states that getting better “value for money” means “securing the best mix of quality and effectiveness” for less cost overtime during the usage of the product or service.
While the policy aims to benefit the UK, there are challenges to its implementation. IT management company SolarWinds found out that a huge chunk of core public sector organizations did not adopt public cloud storage. In fact, less than 30% of National Health Services (NHS) and 61% of central government organizations made the switch.
The report obtained by SolarWinds revealed that these organizations are already using several tools to handle their respective data. Because of this, they are having difficulties integrating the prescribed solution into their existing infrastructure.
Meanwhile, CBR noted that public adoption is becoming costly overtime. This is because the rate of innovation in this field is high, making constant upgrades necessary. Moreover, security concerns are also mounting, which adds to the costs of upgrades.
Ultimately, the barriers are based on the fact that organizations are “realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach” is not possible. This results in more businesses and agencies adopting hybrid approaches instead of purely cloud-based solutions.
In light of these issues and challenges, re-evaluation to be conducted by the CCS and GDS is a sign that the UK government is keeping up with the developments and acting accordingly.