Cloud Adoption in Government & Public Sector: What’s the Trend?
Cloud adoption has been on rising for decades and has now reached a level that we don’t see any ‘non-cloud IT environment around.
Given this tremendous rise, it’s no exaggeration in saying that every industry could be using one or the other form of cloud computing methods/processes in their regular activities.
While no industry stands exception to this trend, the government sector is getting on to the track on par with others in cloud implementation.
The result is what we see around as government data stored on cloud, app-driven public services, cloud-hosted online services, web interactions and more.
What’s driving governments? The answer lies in the cloud’s ability to deliver services efficiently over the network, at low costs.
Gartner predicts a two-fold rise in the government sector’s rate of public cloud adoption, with spending growing at an average of 17.7% annually through 2021.
Government and Cloud Adoption Trends
While companies across most industries spend 20% of their budgets on the cloud, that differs in the case of government organizations depending on their scope of operations, at the local, state and national levels.
As the Gartner reports, local governments spend 20.6% of their IT expenditure on cloud, while it is 22% in case of national governments.
“The key to successfully implementing cloud in government is accounting for the unique technical, organizational, procedural and regulatory issues of individual organizations,” says Neville Cannon, research director at Gartner.
According to Cannon, national governments consider cloud technology as a long-term strategy for achieving IT modernization. While local and regional governments look at it as a means of achieving immediate benefits such as faster innovation and cost savings.
However, local governments are in more proximity to enjoying cloud benefits, as that demands only low budgets while ultimately helping them in their digital transformation efforts.
Public vs Private Cloud
Public cloud services are much closer to the government sector, given the cost and pay-as-you-go models, among others they offer.
But there are a few hindering factors pulling back the public cloud adoption, majorly security or privacy, lack of diverse features and vendor lock-in issues.
Given these factors, Gartner predicts a positive trend for private cloud in the government sector in the years to come, with at least a two-fold rise over public cloud through 2021.
“Governments will implement private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021, despite private cloud not delivering the same benefits in scale, functionality, cost savings or agility as public cloud,” adds Gartner.
Private Cloud, The New Legacy
Government organizations look at the private cloud as a means of advanced virtualization or outsourcing critical IT infrastructure that eases the maintenance burden.
While there are multiple options that run heavy workloads, governments feel private cloud as a special option.
According to Gartner, less than 5% of government private clouds are enjoying full cloud features.
“What this highlights is that there are political benefits to talking about moving to cloud, even where that transition is not taking place in a meaningful way,” explains Cannon.
However, poor implementation can cause harm to the public as well as governments, ultimately impacting the flow of public services, Gartner adds.
Data Remains Crucial
Be it the private or public cloud, now the discussion around is all about ‘data security’.
Given this scenario, it’s important for organizations to ensure data is strongly protected by relevant firewalls.
But what about the data over the cloud! This is where additional security measures, strong regulatory and compliance, encryption and data governance are the need of the hour.
Given these data concerns, choosing the right cloud option to alleviate security concerns remains a crucial challenge for all industries, irrespective of size.