Does the UK Government Have Its Head in the Cloud?

24
Apr
Steve Ross

Written by Steve Ross, 24 April 2014

We are all more than aware of the Government’s drive for more efficient public spending and one particularly interesting area from our standpoint is the recent announcement that Vodafone has launched a new ‘Flexible Computing for Government’ which relies heavily on - you guessed it - the Cloud. As we are huge fans of the Cloud here at Shackleton, the news piqued our interest.

The service is apparently designed to offer the public sector as a whole a more efficient way to buy computing resource, at a time when budgets are being squeezed to the limit. Delivered as a secure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, the idea is that various government departments can purchase the computing power and facilities they need in a much more dynamic way than before. The benefit of this - in theory - is that power can be essentially rented only when it is needed, freeing up cash that would otherwise be tied up in IT kit for investment in other areas.

Being Government Data, which means data on the public at large, security is totally critical. We’re told Vodafone spent 18 months working to gain the requisite security accreditation from the Government, which will be of reassurance to many people who are concerned about where their personal data (and potentially that of millions of others) will be stored.

One of the most common misconceptions about the cloud is that providers have access to data, which is really not the case, indeed Vodafone have said themselves:

"We don't really know what the content is going to be," she claimed. "That's up to them to decide, it's up to us to be able to manage it. We don't really see [the data]."

How this will play out, we don’t know, but with the recent furore over the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartbleed), which put millions and millions of peoples’ data at risk, we can be certain security will be front amongst the general public and the IT industry. 

Where Does this Take Us?

Whilst Central Government is often considered somewhat slow to adapt to new technologies, this is proof that times have changed and that should be good news for all of us. By taking a key role in implementing cloud infrastructure, there’s a good chance the Government will show other organisations in the private sector that it can be a force for greatly improved efficiency, cost-savings and increased productivity, benefits I’m sure any business owner would be interested in achieving - I certainly know I am.

In turn, this ought to mean that more and more organisations turn to the cloud and a more effective way of working, a movement Shackleton is proud to play a role in. 

If you’re considering a move to the cloud, get in touch with us and we’ll clear things up and set you on the right path.

 

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