By Andrew Goodwin, Director at Datacom Asia
The continuing economic problems sweeping across Europe the past few years, which have been impacting other markets one way or another, are driving governments to rethink their IT strategy. This includes re-evaluating the potential of big data and cloud to improve public service delivery in the face of declining IT budgets.
"The key drivers of cloud adoption and government IT investments are the same: reducing organizational cost, improving business processes/productivity, and meeting compliance requirements," said Adelaide O'Brien, research director, IDC Government Insights. "Though governments use a mix of in-house and external resources, such as business applications, IT vendors, and consulting firms – the total cost of the cloud solution usually tops in their list of consideration in choosing cloud partners for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)."
Cloud computing not only helps save cost and time, but also enables the government to be more agile in meeting the ever-growing demand for IT resources. “Our outsourcing arrangement for GovCloud, the government’s private cloud infrastructure, and related e-government services are driving the demand for other types of IT professional services,” said Daniel Lai, the Hong Kong government’s chief information officer. “It fosters growth in the local IT industry and generates business opportunities.”
According to Gartner, governments worldwide continue to adopt both public and private types of cloud services, encouraging government agencies to purchase commercially provided services – all aimed at cost reduction, speed of procurement and deployment, and responsiveness to regulatory requirements. Using cloud-based solutions also enable government IT departments to focus on delivering new and innovative services while ensuring day-to-day public services like email and collaborative systems remain unhampered.
Government agencies are looking for platforms that are easy to setup, maintain, and use, while requiring minimal support or intervention. On top of that, security, reliability, and automation are critical to the success of cloud-based services. Many take a phased approach to cloud adoption, with email and calendar services usually the first to be migrated over to the cloud, followed by file-sharing, mobility services, and instant messaging and collaboration services.
As a cloud enabler, Datacom partners with leading solution providers like Parallels to answer any concerns that government agencies may have around security, privacy, and data protection. Parallels Automation, for example, is the underlying technology behind many of the world’s largest and most reliable web platforms. Increasingly, however, users no longer bother about the underlying technology or channel for the delivery of day-to-day services.
Having supported cloud initiatives in the private sector, the requirements of public sector users are no different. It’s all about the service and the experience.