UK Cloud First policy hampered by ‘significant barriers’, says survey

SolarWinds today announced the results of its Freedom of Information (FOI) request into cloud adoption in the UK public sector.

The results found that, although four in every five National Health Service (NHS), central government, and defence organisations are aware of the Government Cloud First policy, public cloud adoption is disparate, with significantly lower levels of adoption in NHS organisations compared to other public sector organisations.

Despite UK government guidelines making it mandatory for the central government to evaluate public cloud solutions before all others, less than 30% of NHS trusts surveyed and under 61% of central government departments have adopted any level of public cloud in their organisations.

Data infrastructure

Furthermore, of these organisations, few have plans to migrate everything to the cloud; this is the view voiced by 41% of central government respondents and a staggering 79% of NHS respondents.

A key trend underpinning this is the difficulty public sector organisations experience when monitoring the public cloud as part of their wider data infrastructure, with 48% of NHS and central government organisations using four or more monitoring tools.

At the same time, 77% of NHS respondents and 55% of central government respondents are either not using the same monitoring tools across their infrastructure, or are unsure if their monitoring and management tools are capable of working across both on-premises and hybrid environments.

Public cloud adoption

The problem is further exacerbated by legacy technology, with 53% of NHS respondents and 50% of central government respondents highlighting the key barrier to public cloud adoption.

Paul Parker, chief technologist at SolarWinds, commented: “While not surprising, the results suggest that public sector users, particularly those handling sensitive data, have yet to be convinced that the public cloud is an integral tool that can provide considerable ROI.

“The public sector needs tools that can combine the monitoring and management of on-premises and cloud infrastructure, including legacy technology, in a way that clearly demonstrates system performance and ROI potential.”

Parker also noted that, without implementing the cloud, it will be near enough impossible to achieve the cost-efficiency and data fluidity that the government is aiming for.

Written from press release by Leah Alger