SOURCE: Huddle

Huddle

July 07, 2015 04:00 ET

13 Billion Reasons the Public Sector Should Adopt Cloud Computing

Major Survey From Huddle Demonstrates That Despite Government Initiatives to Drive Greater Use of Cloud Computing, the Public Sector Is Struggling to Embrace the Technology

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jul 7, 2015) - If the called-for £13bn of "departmental savings" are going to be achieved in tomorrow's Emergency Budget, the UK public sector has to be encouraged to have more confidence in cloud computing. This is according to a major new survey from Huddle, the enterprise cloud collaboration service.

In March 2015, George Osborne announced £13bn of cuts from government departments over the next three years. In tomorrow's Emergency Budget, Osborne is expected to announce the Government's first steps to achieving this -- anticipated to include a renewed focus on improving government efficiency, boosting public sector productivity and interdepartmental collaboration.

According to the Cabinet Office, efficiency, productivity and collaboration gains and the reduction of IT costs are all largely dependent on being 'Cloud First' i.e. the wider use throughout the public sector of cloud computing platforms.

Cloud adoption undermined through lack of confidence
But a Dods Research study of more than 5,000 UK public sector workers, commissioned by Huddle, reveals that:

  • Only a third (35%) of public sector staff are comfortable using cloud IT
  • An almost equal number (36%) say they haven't used cloud computing before
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) said they lacked confidence to use cloud computing.

More concerning is the view from public sector IT department employees. While a greater proportion (47%) do feel comfortable with cloud computing, nearly a quarter said they had never even used cloud computing services.

"The public sector frontline is stuck between a rock and a hard place," commented Alastair Mitchell, co-founder and CMO of Huddle. "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."

The Huddle report, "Meeting the Digital Challenge: How well is the public sector embracing cloud computing?", also probes into the reasons behind such low confidence in cloud computing:

  • 92% of public sector employees cited data security concerns
  • 85% had concerns around the time and effort required for migration to cloud platforms
  • 83% worried about conflict with existing technology

Improved collaboration undermined by preference for outdated practices
The study also discovered that despite aiming for a 'Digital Government' underpinned by cloud platforms, collaboration in the public sector is inefficient, insecure and anachronistic:

  • 43% of public sector employees collaborate by printing documents and sending them in the mail
  • 27% work in partnership with external teams by printing documents and sending them by courier
  • 18% rely on USB drives

"These behaviours are the antithesis of collaboration and efficiency," commented Mitchell. "If cloud platforms are not trusted or believed to be beneficial, collaboration cannot take place, and so insecure and inefficient approaches to co-operation are filling the void. There's no reluctance to collaborate -- it's just that staff are not yet convinced by the tools being offered to them, making it essential that UK Government provides more education on cloud platforms and their benefits."

"It's really very simple. If public sector employees -- and in particular those in IT roles -- are not convinced of the benefits of cloud computing and the changes to working practices that can be delivered through it, then the £13bn public sector savings are not realistic." concluded Mitchell.

The report "Meeting the Digital Challenge: How well is the public sector embracing cloud computing?", is available for download at huddle.com

Additional Report Info
The report uses research data collected exclusively for Huddle by Dods Research in Q4 2014. More than 5,000 public sector employees were polled, including central government (1,529), local government (1,222), and NHS (2,148). The respondents were from all types of roles and levels, ranging from clinicians to administrators, managers to Chief Executives, and including more than 400 staff within IT departments.

Additional Resources

About Huddle
Huddle is a secure cloud collaboration service that enables enterprise and government organizations worldwide to securely store, access, share, sync and work on files with everyone they need to -- regardless of whether they are inside or outside of an organization's firewall. Co-headquartered in London and San Francisco and with offices in New York City and Washington D.C., Huddle's customers include 80 percent of Fortune 500 and 80 percent of UK government departments, as well as companies such as Kia Motors, Williams Lea, Driscoll's, Unilever and P&G. The company is privately held and backed by leading venture capital firms in the US and Europe. For more information visit www.huddle.com or follow us on Twitter @huddle.

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