This article originally appeared at The WHIR
Over two years have passed since the UK government adopted a “cloud first” policy to reduce IT costs and improve efficiency and collaboration, yet more than one-third of UK public sector workers say they have never used cloud computing, according to a new survey. Enterprise cloud collaboration company Huddle released the survey Tuesday, and it indicates that the progress towards UK public sector understanding of cloud services has stalled.
Dods Research surveyed over 5,000 UK public sector workers on behalf of Huddle, and found that 35 percent are comfortable using cloud IT. This could be taken as a positive sign, but 36 percent said they have not used cloud services before, including nearly one-quarter of public sector IT department employees.
The Cloud First policy encourages use of the government CloudStore to access approved “G-Cloud” suppliers. With an emergency budget expected to cut £13 billion in “departmental savings” by 2020, the expected cost benefits of government cloud adoption are need to be realized soon, and that means increasing confidence in the services.
“The public sector frontline is stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Alastair Mitchell, co-founder and CMO of Huddle said. “On the one hand, staff are being asked to remove £13bn of spend, but on the other, the new cloud-based IT infrastructures that are key to a large proportion of these savings are not yet sufficiently understood or trusted enough to be widely deployed. UK government has to up the rhetoric on cloud benefits and training, else the cuts are simply not possible.”
Mitchell concludes that the £13 billion savings goal is unrealistic if public sector workers, particularly those in IT, are not convinced to move workloads to the cloud and change practices accordingly.
Nearly a quarter (24 percent) lack the confidence to use cloud computing, but public employees confidence in the services themselves is even more troubling. Ninety-two percent cited data security when asked about barriers to confidence and adoption, while 85 percent identified migration, and 83 percent are worried about conflicts with existing technology.
A year after Cloud First became official policy, 83 percent of civil servants characterized their experience with G-Cloud as “poor,” due to gaps in training and education. Earlier this year another report found legacy IT spending and renewals to be a significant barrier to cloud adoption.