Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 10 - Page 91

INDUSTRY WATCH WHILE POCKETS OF INNOVATION ARE EVIDENT WITHIN THE NHS, SUCH AS THE ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL USING IBM WATSON, PUBLIC CLOUD ADOPTION IS LESS THAN HALF THAT OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT’S. T he Cloud First policy is an important statement of the government’s digitalisation initiative and a wider push to be ‘cloud native’. Indeed, the Government Digital Service (GDS) has suggested that IT teams should create ‘resilient, flexible and API- driven’ applications and is encouraging any staff in defence, government, or the NHS to trial new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. While a significant statement of the government’s intent, with over £2.6 billion spent on cloud and digital services over the last five years, adoption to date remains comparatively low. Just 30% of NHS and 61% of central government entities have adopted some level of public cloud, according to a recent FOI request conducted by SolarWinds. Even the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which has adopted some public cloud, stated it had migrated less than 25% of its architecture. Meanwhile, public cloud mistrust remains high in the public sector. Forty one percent of central government organisations, as well as 79% of NHS trusts, do not plan to move everything to the cloud. This speaks to the many challenges that the public sector still faces with cloud adoption. The onus now falls on the GDS and technology vendors to address these issues, which are integral to enabling the public sector to put cloud technology in place. In turn, this will hasten the time to positive results and ROI. Striking differences between NHS and government cloud adoption One of the most striking findings is the differing sentiments around public cloud voiced by the NHS and central government. While pockets of innovation are evident within the NHS, such as the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital using IBM Watson, public cloud adoption is less than half that of central government’s. Between April and December 2017, NHS Digital spent over £32 million on digital transformation consultancy services. Additionally, £23 million was spent with cloud, software, or hardware providers. Given the low rate of NHS public cloud adoption, it would seem that this investment is not reaching individual organisations. Fifty two percent of NHS trusts report budgets as a major concern when it comes to implementing public cloud. This rises to 66% among trusts who had already implemented some level INTELLIGENTCIO 91