How Cloud Transformation is Powering the Journey to Net-Zero (Guest blog from Vysiion)
Author: Leigh Hall, Strategic Consultant, Vysiion
The green agenda has become a hot topic, both politically and in the minds of citizens, fuelled further by the potential energy crisis. Now the UK Government has gone further than its original 2050 net-zero target date and enshrined in law the target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels – the world’s most ambitious climate change target to date.
As a result, many public sector organisations across the UK are finding themselves forced to consider how to best meet these objectives, and implement more sustainable ways of operating, while simultaneously retaining control of their costs and avoiding any disruption to the delivery of critical services across the country.
Crown Commercial Services offer a number of solutions to help the public sector decarbonise its procurement portfolio – from reducing energy costs, to investing an all-electric fleet. One of the fundamental elements of any public sector organisation’s day-to-day operations, which could unlock up to 99% carbon reduction savings is the data room.
The delivery of public services results in the creation of tremendous volumes of data each day, all of which must be collated and stored, in full compliance with an increasingly complex range of data protection regulations. In many cases, public sector organisations still manage this through an on-site data room. Whilst these facilities served their purpose over the years, they are no longer suitable to support the way citizens access public services and the need for flexible communication and collaboration between public sector employees.
A more nuanced response to the Cloud-First policy is required, approaching transformation to the cloud as an ongoing process rather than a full-scale replacement of all existing infrastructure in one go
Most organisations are turning to public cloud, spurred on by the Government’s Cloud-First policy, which has encouraged organisations to adopt a wholesale approach to cloud transformation. However, those who have undertaken this process have since learned to their cost, that this is often the least economic option, especially if their existing infrastructure and applications are not ‘cloud-ready’. A more nuanced response to the Cloud-First policy is required, approaching transformation to the cloud as an ongoing process rather than a full-scale replacement of all existing infrastructure in one go
Enter Crown Hosting: a framework for procuring hosting space from the UK Government’s data centre of choice at favourable prices and terms, as agreed by Crown Commercial Services. Whether used as a stepping-stone for public cloud, a long-term home for legacy infrastructure, or as part of a hybrid cloud strategy, the benefits for moving to Crown Hosting not only include cost savings and added security and resilience, but also tangible carbon savings, so commercial and environmental goals do not have to be in competition.
The Crown Hosting data centres offer a proven model for meeting environmental targets, by utilising renewable alternatives to fossil fuels such as air cooling, wherever possible and taking active measures to minimise the environmental impact of their operations. Furthermore, with the support of an experienced technology partner who can provide all the necessary migration and support services, they can support a phased, strategic approach to digital transformation that underpins service continuity and cost control.
Public sector organisations should work with their technology partners to establish which elements of their infrastructure are cloud-appropriate; Identify the right cloud, for the right workload and the right time for transformation after first re-architecting from the ground up.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but uptake has been surprisingly slow, as public sector organisations haven’t realised that adopting a new approach to hosting their data can help them make considerable steps towards net-zero, achieving 99.9% saving of CO2 emissions and reducing electricity usage by 75% compared to legacy data centres or on-premises data rooms.
In an era where public finances are woefully overstretched and significant cuts to departmental budgets are expected in the coming years, there really is no better time than the present for public sector organisations to consider their current IT spend and whether their data room or legacy hosting infrastructure represents the best value for money.
To this end, public sector organisations should work with their technology partners to establish which elements of their infrastructure are cloud-appropriate; Identify the right cloud, for the right workload and the right time for transformation after first re-architecting from the ground up. This collaborative approach will lead to hybrid environments that support flexible working for public sector employees, tangible, long-term cost savings, and exceptional outcomes for all citizens accessing public services; all the while helping organisations like yours with their net-zero goals.
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