16 October 2014
Cloud is increasingly being accepted as a way for us to access a wide range of applications:
› Data storage (e.g. every Amazon UK customer gets 5GB free to store their photos and music files in the cloud)
› Music (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play)
› Social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Google+)
› Apps (Google Docs, Play Store)
› Communications (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! – but also Skype, WhatsApp)
There are several areas where cloud services are starting to become a viable option for many IT leaders within the public sector:
› Email and Office software: Office 365 is being adopted by many public sector organisations
› Cloud has also been put at the centre of the Government’s vision of the future of ‘digital’ public service delivery
› The Cabinet Office is pushing for more ICT to be provisioned off the ‘G-Cloud,’ via its CloudStore procurement portal
Changes in legislation at the end of June 2014 mean that any staff member can request the right to apply for flexible working if they have been in the organisation for a minimum of 26 weeks (previously it was only parents or guardians). This means you may need to introduce a way for staff to be able to access systems and work remotely. Could the cloud be your only real option here?
According to 2013 Ofcom research, the availability of superfast broadband has seen an upsurge in internet use at home for work purposes – with 30% of respondents saying they are using it to upload work to the cloud.
Gartner produced a report in January that found 73% of UK public sector leaders are already using mobile technology to deliver services to employees and the public. 26% of respondents said they already offer it as a tool for staff in the field.
From the end of 2013, the Government has allowed the use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the public sector – which includes access to the cloud by employees – meaning greater flexibility for the user.
The rise of PSN, the Public Services Network, is encouraging public sector ICT leaders to look at new ways of delivering connectivity via shared services.
Cloud-based telephony looks set to be central to the UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service market– in both the public and private sector.
Now could be an ideal time to start using cloud-based telephony in your comms infrastructure in the same way as you are in your desktop, remote working and general ICT procurement.
16 October 2014 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.