The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) will use Google Cloud services to support its business operations and maintain continuity as the organization adapts to its post-coronavirus future.
The news was confirmed by Simon Sandford-Taylor, Director of Digital Services and Technology at ONS, during a video chat with Google Cloud's Mark Palmer.
Sandford-Taylor explained how the Cloud has supported the ONS throughout the pandemic by providing new, agile ways of working and facilitating collaboration across a distributed workforce. He also explained how next year’s 2021 Census plans to use Google Cloud’s technology to process data from over 25 million households over a six-week period.
“We have a lot of software developers that are on what we call off-network devices, that is devices that are loosely coupled to our network but don't have the corporate tools that we would have perhaps provided,” Sandford-Taylor explained.
“And without the Cloud and G Suite access, we wouldn't have been able to keep in touch with our staff.”
He also argues that the importance of working in physical offices, in close proximity to one another, has been "debunked as a myth”.
“We've been able to manage working remotely with the same efficiencies. In fact, stand ups are probably better attended now than they were when they were physically in the office. So, it's certainly the new way of working, I think for us that's been a key enabler.”
He concluded by explaining the ONS will most likely continue hiring UK-wide, as remote working moves further into the mainstream.