Eduserv Foundation claim that 44% of British councils ‘missing a trick’ by failing to migrate to cloud software and that many of those who have are not maximizing its potential to lower costs.
Non-Profit organization and public sector IT resource Eduserv has revealed in the past week that Britain’s largest councils are missing out lowering operational costs by not migrating their data and applications to cloud software. The research carried out by the organization looked at 100 of the UK’s largest councils. Of the 100 they looked in to, 44% of them do not have an IT strategy in place and 15% of those admitted that they have no plans to develop one.
Eduserv’s principal analyst Jos Creese said that on the back of the research, the lack of cloud strategy in so many councils was a concern for a number of reasons.
“The first is that cloud as a digital platform can offer a range of benefits that local councils desperately need around lower operating costs and all sorts of things like that…It is also symptomatic of a reluctance, or a resistance, to move to a more digital way of delivering IT. I know cloud has its challenges, but any council that doesn’t have some mechanism of assessing where it can use cloud – or indeed, not use cloud – is, frankly, missing a bit of a trick.”
The research also found that 27% of the councils that were looked into, couldn’t provide details of where their data was held which, according to Eduserv shows that levels of knowledge that council management has regarding IT still remains low in local government.
Further research by Flair4IT.co.uk indicates there are more than 400 councils across the UK and overall findings may see a significant increase in those that have migrated to cloud software although looking into the 100 biggest seems a fair way of giving a rough picture of how most councils operate. Despite the clear benefits to local councils Richard Blandford, managing director of Fordway, a public sector supplier claimed that councilsusage of IT is affected by other areas of concern.
“In broad and general terms, local authorities in the main are slower adopters of cloud than other areas…A government department is set up to do one thing – for example HMRC is set up to collect taxes – so they run a smaller number of big systems. But local councils run a large number of small systems, and that is much harder to migrate to cloud because they need their own migration plans which is more complex in IT terms.”
In the last 6 years, many British councils have been crippled by spending cuts and many Britons who have suffered as a result, will see these figures as a little concerning. With so many British , it seems surprising that the government has not encouraged its councils to cut their spending where appropriate, with IT solutions being a key part of cost savings.