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This blog was originally posted under: The Norfolk Punt
I’ve long thought that problems to do with accepting Cloud for business are almost entirely down to education, trust and confidence. Nothing much to do with technology, really. After all, we got the technology needed for secure, reliable, multi-tenanted, cloud-like services right back in the 1980s (with mainframes and bureau services) and that newfangled Intel and UNIX stuff has just about caught up now.
I think that a major factor in cloud acceptance is going to be Government sponsorship although (given the Government’s record with large-scale IT) I’m not quite sure why. Well, I am sure really: the government is fairly risk-averse and makes its mistakes in the full glare of publicity, so if it’s prepared to expose itself to Cloud it can’t be all that risky for the rest of us.
The UK’s G-Cloud Programme is a welcome initiative running across the UK government (led by Andy Nelson (Ministry of Justice) and supported by Denise McDonagh (Home Office) under the auspices of the grandly-named Chief Information Officer Delivery Board (which is part of the govrerment’s general IT strategy – see here. There is a procurement framework and a set of approved suppliers (including Salesforce.com and Connection Point Technology) in something helpfully named Cloudstore.
The focus initially seems to be on delivering cost savings, as is usual for cloud. This may, as usual, be a little short-sighted. Although cost-effective automation may be a welcome side-effect of a Cloud strategy, I see the real benefits as increased agility and access. When technology can be automatically and quickly provisioned (and, equally importantly, deprovisioned) from the cloud, the organisation behind the technology can respond to changing circumstances quickly and safely – and try ‘innovative’ things with acceptably-managed risk. ‘Quickly’ and ‘innovative’ – now, those are interesting concepts for a government technology initiative….