Cloud First initiative didn't have the impact we were hoping for

Back in 2013, when the Cloud First strategy first launched, it was hailed as a significant step forward in the digital transformation of the public sector

Back in 2013, when the Cloud First strategy first launched, it was hailed as a significant step forward in the digital transformation of the public sector. Now, three years later, the project barely made a dent in the public sector, according to a new report by Eduserv, the not-for-profit provider of IT services for the public sector.  

After polling 418 councils in England, Wales and Scotland, the results were published in a whitepaper entitled “Up In The Air: The State of Cloud Adoption in Local Government in 2016”. It says that a quarter (27 per cent) of UK councils have a procurement policy which prevents them from using G-Cloud. 

Of that total, 21 of the biggest councils said they couldn’t use the framework. Among smaller councils, 37 said the same thing.  A third was allowed to use G-Cloud, the report said.  Just 12 per cent of all authorities make up for 90 per cent of all G-Cloud Local Government spend – a total of £50.5 million.  

More than half (58 per cent) still haven’t bought through G-Cloud, and 127 councils that have procured the framework, spent a total of £6 million between them.  

“The big picture behind this research is that only a minority of councils appear to have a deep appreciation of how IT must change to support service redesign and new technologies in the future,” said Jos Creese, principal analyst for Eduserv’s Local Government Executive Briefing Programme who authored the report. 

“This is acutely illustrated by the fact six in ten councils have yet to adopt a cloud policy or strategy, and many systems are still run in-house on local data centres. Despite the ease of accessing cloud services through G-Cloud, just eight councils represent 57 per cent of G-Cloud spend to date.” 

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