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Six Degrees: How Shared Services Could Be the Key to Accelerating Cloud Adoption and Unlocking Efficiencies
As techUK members, we’ve talked a lot about ‘digital chaos’ over the past few years. What this often means for UK public sector organisations is a fragmented infrastructure where some front-end systems have been provisioned in public cloud while legacy back-end systems remain on local infrastructure. Although hybrid cloud should never be seen as a bad idea in principle, in practice the disparate nature of organisations’ infrastructures can lead to essential data – medical and police records, for example – being left stranded between servers that don’t communicate efficiently. The net result of this can, unfortunately, be the sub-optimal delivery of critical public services.
In order to justify investments in more holistic cloud-based infrastructures that deliver efficiencies and enable the enhancement of public services, IT leaders need to establish why local infrastructures are no longer sustainable in today’s digital landscape – and why the cloud is. Shared services could be the key to achieving this.
A Gradual Decline
Local infrastructures are still prevalent throughout the UK public and private sectors, and they certainly support the delivery of some pretty fundamental functions for a great many people. But are they sustainable in the longer term?
The overall cost of supporting local infrastructures is increasing, not just in terms of maintenance but also the skills and knowledge required to keep things ticking over on a daily basis. There’s a constantly diminishing number of engineers with the skillsets to support some of the legacy tin that’s out there in the wild, and outside of direct knowledge transfer there’s not an up-and-coming legion of engineers ready to take over when experienced onsite engineers choose to retire or move on.
So, doing the job today? Sure. But looking forward, local infrastructures are in a gradual decline. And nobody wants that to turn into a sudden one at their organisation.
Delivering Efficiencies Through Cloud
Unlike local infrastructures, cloud infrastructures have a huge skills and talent base to pull from – starting with younger engineers at the beginning of their careers, who have grown up with cloud-native systems being the norm.
But it’s not just people – it’s technology and processes, too. Everyone knows that the latest applications are built from the ground up using cloud. That’s why many organisations started to introduce public cloud-based front-end systems in the first place, and it will remain a key driver for cloud transformation for some time to come.
When it comes to processes, it is incredibly tough – if not impossible – to streamline processes with siloed, disparate systems. Properly planned and executed cloud adoption is probably the best way to remove digital chaos and align processes with people and technology – ultimately achieving efficiencies and enhancing service delivery.
Getting There Needn’t Be Painful
With many decision makers hesitant to commit to costly transformation projects when things are ticking along just about well enough, it can be easy to take the complacent view that cloud utopia is a desirable but unreachable utopia.
This needn’t be the case. We’re seeing more and more organisations share services, with the likes of Local Authorities pooling efforts and resources to share services like community clouds and security operations centres (SOCs) that they would be unable to finance or resource alone. By working together, organisations can leverage best practices and cost efficiencies by delivering to multiple agencies with more scope to scale.
But what about legacy applications that won’t play nicely with public cloud? That’s where a ‘springboard to the cloud’ approach comes in, providing an interim cloud platform that enables organisations to begin their digital journeys without requiring a ‘big bang’ transformation.
So, cloud utopia – or at least something approaching it – is a lot closer than many organisations think. And frankly, it’s the way to go if public sector organisations are to realise efficiencies that can ultimately be passed on to citizens. Shared services could be the key to accelerating cloud adoption and unlocking these efficiencies.
To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.
Rob Walton is the Sales Director at Six Degrees, a leading secure cloud-led managed service provider that works as a collaborative technology partner to organisations making a digital transition. Connect with Rob via LinkedIn.
On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.
You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:
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