MPs fear offshoring is greatest barrier to cloud adoption

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Skyscape Cloud Services has announced the findings of its survey into the attitudes of parliamentarians to G-Cloud services adoption in the public sector.

The survey found that 82% of MP’s are calling for a greater use of cloud services in the public sector, with the report suggesting that this can be attributed in part to the success of the Government’s G-Cloud programme, which supports the UK public sector and innovative SME’s.

Most of the peers that are familiar with G-Cloud (85%) believe that the programme fosters economic growth and creates jobs, with the majority of informed peers and MP’s (82%) believe that it drives innovation.

This is in keeping with Government Digital Services figures which indicated in November 2014 that 57% of G-Cloud sales by volume were awarded to SME suppliers and that G-Cloud was directly responsible for the creation of 356 SME jobs.

Despite these positives, concerns remain over the obstacles facing cloud adoption, with 57% of MP’s and 58% of peers citing that the greatest obstacle to cloud adoption is offshoring. Concerns over data privacy and security (56% of MP’s and 55% of peers) came in as a close second.

Significantly, 97% of MP’s and 83% of peers believe that the UK provides adequate protection for processing public data. The indication is that parliamentarians are taking data privacy and protection issues seriously and that public sector data should be processed in the UK.

Simon Hansford, CEO of Skyscape Cloud Services, said: "G-Cloud is a good news story for any politician, given the huge progress that has been made in delivering better public services for less, while creating a more open and transparent marketplace for all."

"Concerns about offshoring affecting the security of data are valid and timely given recent media and political focus on this issue. G-Cloud buyers are currently required to identify the location where their data will be processed and stored, and to understand the jurisdictional and legal implications in order to make an informed risk assessment."

A barrier to cloud adoption identified by the survey appears to be a lack of widespread knowledge and understanding about cloud services. Some MP’s (34%) do not agree that the public sector market has been made easily accessible to SME’s.

A major barrier to cloud adoption is seen as a lack of awareness and education (55% MP’s and 53% peers), only 10% of peers and 3% of MP’s claimed that they have a good understanding of the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation – which will become law in 2017.

"More clearly needs to be done to show our parliamentarians how taking a bold and innovative approach to ICT procurement and working with SMEs through G-Cloud can deliver real, tangible economic benefits, both to public sector organisations and to the UK taxpayer," said Hansford.

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