Nearly half of the UK’s largest councils have no cloud strategy

Written by Rebecca Hill on 28 July 2016 in News

A survey of the UK’s 100 biggest councils has found that 44 per cent don’t have a strategy for use of the cloud

Image credit: Peter Dejong/AP/Press Association Images

A survey of the UK’s 100 largest councils has found that 44 per cent do not have a strategy for use of the cloud, despite 73 per cent saying they use it for some form of data storage.

The survey, carried out by Eduserv, asked the top 100 councils by revenue about their use of the cloud.

In the report, Jos Creese, principal analyst on Eduserv’s Local Government Executive Briefing Programme, said that local government had been slow to realise the benefit of cloud computing to release them from “legacy IT system handcuffs”.

Of the 44 per cent of councils that had no cloud adoption policy, the survey found that just 15 per cent were considering one.


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This echoes a recent iGov survey that found that most councils using cloud applications either couldn’t or were unaware of whether they could monitor sensitive information accessed through them.

The Eduserv survey also found that 27 per cent of councils said they didn’t know or couldn’t give a figure on where their data was held.

Moreover, although most councils – 73 per cent – said they used the cloud, Eduserv pointed to figures from Dropbox that said nearly every UK council has used its services.

“What this points to is a significant level of shadow cloud use, or ‘cloud creep’, which is unmanaged,” the report said.

It added those organisations need to acknowledge that some form of cloud adoption is inevitable and urged them to create an effective IT policy to manage it.

The survey also looked at the number of on-site data centres and third party data centres councils used, with just 10 per cent saying they had no on-site data centres.

Some 27 per cent said they had one, and 55 per cent said they had two on-site. Meanwhile, 65 per cent said they used a third-party data centre.

The report said that this indicated there were still concerns about the risks of moving data, particularly sensitive information, into the cloud.

However, Creese said that councils would do better to adopt a clear cloud policy, rather than avoid using the cloud to mitigate risk.

“As cloud use becomes more ubiquitous, local authorities cannot afford not to have plans to ensure that it is used safely and with controls in place to ensure data is managed in a way which reduces risk,” he said.

“Resistance to cloud adoption (and for that matter use of [the government cloud sales platform] G-Cloud) is currently holding back councils from achieving optimum digital service performance.”

He added that if councils want to generate the service and financial benefits from digital transformation, they “must be prepared to use every technology tool in their armoury”.

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