With many public sector contracts due to expire over the next three years, organisations are understandably assessing options around what to do with IT. More and more public sector organisations want to take back control of their IT and harness the flexibility of cloud services. However, many recognise that they aren’t ready to move everything to the cloud just yet. They need an interim solution that lets them bridge the gap between their current outsourcing contract and true public cloud service delivery: a springboard to the cloud.
Choices and Challenges
So, what options do public sector organisations have when they’re coming to the end of their outsourced contract? There are several, but they all present their own challenges and bring their own problems:
- They could decide to stick with the existing outsourced provider and renew the contract because they don’t have the time pick apart their IT services and find new strategies for each area. But that would merely entrench the inefficiencies that blighted the previous contract.
- Alternatively, they might choose to take the contract, shift it to a new provider, and re-tender for another ten year contract because it seems like the easiest and least risky option. But it’s still a leap in the dark, and people are naturally cautious about changing providers. And of course, it leaves them locked into another supplier for a long period of time.
- Another option would be to move everything to the public cloud, and deploy all services to Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. But most applications would need to be rewritten to be cloud-ready, as they would typically have been hosted on infrastructure that was more than five years old and out of warranty.
- They might decide to move all services back in-house, but finding the staff to manage 10-year-old applications and legacy infrastructure (and the budget for those purchases) could be a struggle.
- Or they can choose to work with specialist technology partners, such as Six Degrees, who provide a springboard to the cloud through managed services.
Change Isn’t Easy
Breaking away from an existing provider can be a daunting prospect – the enterprise IT technology landscape has changed radically over the past 10 years, and the skills needed in-house, from Amazon Web Services certified engineers to cloud architects, are not yet readily available. With the government’s recent budget announcements on tightening up IR35 regulations causing many public sector IT contractors to leave for jobs in the private sector, the skills shortage is likely to become a major factor limiting the ability of organisations to transform their IT in-house.
The risks of getting it wrong are well-known: there have been plenty of headlines accusing public sector bodies of wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on the wrong IT choice. But it’s a complex job to migrate services affecting thousands of people to a new provider, and organisations can be guilty of making panicked decisions at the end of their contract, such as signing up to expensive contract extensions because they don’t have a suitable alternative solution in place.
The Right IT Partner
When it is time to consider the next step in your digital transformation journey, ask yourself the following to pick the right IT partner and contract option for your organisation – don’t make a snap decision:
- Does your IT partner share your organisation’s vision and digital transformation journey?
- Does your IT partner have the ability to enable the migration of your services to a more agile platform so in the future you can capitalise on more automation capabilities?
- Does your IT partner have the rigour to safeguard your sensitive data?
- Does your IT partner offer cost effective solutions?
- Can your IT partner scale up or down your needs based on demand?
- Can your IT partner identify inefficiencies in your current environment to make your usage more effective?
- Does your IT partner offer you an agile way to work and deploy all your applications?
Springboarding your organisation to the cloud is the most time and cost effective next step for public sector organisations on their digital transformation journey. For further information, or to take the next step in your digital transformation journey, visit 6dg.co.uk.
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