The recent global recession has increased public scrutiny and accountability demands on the IT budgets of government organizations. Paradoxically, these organizations are increasingly under pressure to raise service competency and productivity. This cost and performance management irony has propelled public agencies to look to other technological alternatives, such as cloud computing solutions.
In the latest IDC Government Insights study, “Looking Ahead: Articulating Cloud Competencies for the Aisa/Pacific Public Sector (Doc #AP9694203S)", IDC Government Insights discussed the trends driving the adoption of cloud technologies, whether public, private or a hybrid of both models, and the concerns over the use of cloud computing technologies in the public sector such as security, reliability and regulatory compliance.
In general, most public sector agencies are widely dispersed operational silos and have an urgent need to coordinate and integrate the various egovernment functions. Notably, the challenge today is that these agencies face varying policy and operational restrictions which translate to different needs and scales on their IT capacity. As the business case for the traditional data center is no longer sustainable in the long run, the adoption of cloud computing technologies in the public sector has become a viable option.
We note that the Asia/Pacific public sector is still apprehensive about the adoption of cloud computing especially in agencies that handle sensitive information. Most of the initiatives today are still at an experimental stage as the public sector tries to determine the return on investment (ROI) and weigh the risks involved in the adoption of cloud computing technologies.
Governments should take an active change management stance to address the people and process aspects of cloud implementations, such as revolutionizing traditional workflows and facilitating interoperable standards to bring about greater inter-agency coordination. All the stakeholders involved need to internalize the value and application of the cloud model so as to truly realize a continued and successful egovernment transformation.
We are also expecting data protection and security solutions such as "rights-management-as-a-service", and integrated business intelligence and analytics applications to feature strongly as key technological innovations that lead the adoption of cloud computing for the public sector.
Inevitably, apart from cost management agendas, public sector agencies will need to define their own set of business requirements for cloud computing solutions. This means they have to explore and gather distinctive proficiency and awareness towards building a specialized enterprise-grade cloud services model that fits the unique environment it serves. Thus, the eventual adoption of cloud technologies, whether public, private or a hybrid of both models, lies fundamentally on the operational requirements it seeks to address.