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Blogs > The Norfolk Punt

Trusting the cloud
David Norfolk By: David Norfolk, Practice Leader - Development, Bloor Research
Published: 5th December 2012
Copyright Bloor Research © 2012
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I've long thought that problems to do with accepting Cloud for business are entirely down to education, trust and confidence. Nothing to do with technology. After all, we got the technology, which was needed for secure, reliable, multi-tenanted, cloud-like services, right back in the 1980s (with mainframes and bureau services) and that newfangled Intel and UNIX stuff has just about caught up now.

I think that a major factor in cloud acceptance is going to be Government sponsorship although (given the Government's record with large-scale IT) I wonder if I'm quite sure why. Well, I'm pretty sure why: the government is fairly risk-averse and makes its mistakes in the full glare of publicity, so if it's prepared to expose itself to Cloud it can't be all that risky for the rest of us.

The UK's G-Cloud Programme is an initiative running across the UK government (led by Andy Nelson (Ministry of Justice) and supported by Denise McDonagh (Home Office) under the auspices of the grandly-named Chief Information Officer Delivery Board (which is part of the government's general IT strategy - see here). There is a procurement framework and a services catalogue; together with a set of approved suppliers - including Salesforce.com and Connection Point Technology; in something helpfully named Cloudstore.

The focus initially seems to be on delivering cost savings, as is usual for cloud. This may, as usual, be a little short-sighted. Although cost-effective automation may be a welcome side-effect of a Cloud strategy, I see the real benefits as increased agility and wider access to automated systems. When technology can be automatically and quickly provisioned (and, equally importantly, de-provisioned) from the cloud, the organisation behind them can respond to changing circumstances quickly and safely - and they can even try innovative things with acceptably-managed risk.

"Quickly" and "innovative" - now, those are interesting concepts for a government technology initiative....

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