A senior member of the Ministry of Justice's IT team has poured out his thoughts on the cloud, and why the government is moving in the right direction with its adoption in the "G-Cloud" project.
IT Pro reports that Adrian Scaife called cloud computing a "no-brainer", and noted that despite all the fuss around cloud technology, there really isn't anything complex about it. The cloud, as he rightly points out, is simply a shift from installed products to delivered services; a change in model from product-based to service-based.
He argues that there's a lack of clarity for many folks where the cloud is concerned, and those who claim not to have a clue what the cloud is are generally already using it, for example with webmail services.
Scaife then outlines the strengths of the cloud - flexibility, rapid scalability, and the fact that you only pay for what you use, with patches and maintenance being dealt with by your cloud provider, not to mention numerous other benefits.
The downside, of course - the "s" word: Security.
On that subject, Scaife notes: "It is contended that most of the data processing workload currently undertaken by government departments on IL3 accredited systems could be undertaken much more cost effectively by the use of public cloud services. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about playing fast & loose with people's personal data, most cloud services are at least as secure, if not more secure than on-premise systems."
"Government is now beginning to recognise the potential cloud has to help us deliver ‘better for less', to drive down costs and to improve services. Our job now is to seize the opportunity to capitalise on that. Cloud is a ‘no-brainer', but we need to avoid getting into a tiz about how scary it sounds to us and how ‘special' we think we are."
Given the government's current austerity motif, it's no surprise to see a shift in this direction, either.