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The cloud and the public sector - water and oil?

Steve Hodgkinson | March 6, 2009
Should public sector CIOs be tapping into the cloud?

By a curious coincidence, most governments are in the midst of a parallel process of re-conceptualising the boundaries of their IT organisations moving away from regarding IT as an agency-by-agency issue and looking at ways to consolidate, rationalise and standardise IT on a whole-of-government basis to reduce costs. The ideal is to deliver efficient applications and IT services to any public servant, regardless of their agency or location.

A step change beyond earlier outsourcing and managed services approaches to IT

The required transformation of government IT is much more about changes in governance, organisation and culture than it is about technology and we all know this to be gruelling work. Governments may, however, be making it harder than it needs to be by using old paradigm tools, such as enterprise architecture, common applications and shared services.

The major IT services vendors are making massive investments in cloud computing research and infrastructure because they see the emergence of global IT utilities as the future of the industry. CIOs should be tapping into this emerging body of knowledge and exploring ways to architect the next generation of government IT infrastructure using cloud logic. Governments should understand when and where to leverage the cloud and how to create agile public sector clouds not just a rehash of outdated, inflexible shared services and outsourcing arrangements.

Steve Hodgkinson is a research director in government at Ovum   


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