Advanced Software (return to the homepage)
Menu
Reaching New Heights: Cloud Adoption for Local Government
//30-01-2024

Reaching New Heights: Cloud Adoption for Local Government

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

Looking for savings

With an estimated £3.57bn shortfall in 2024/2025, local councils across the UK are having to make some tough decisions. From school crossing patrols to highway maintenance, relied-upon public services are being cut or greatly reduced in many areas.

As such, any digital adoption will have to bring cost savings. Senior decision makers and CFOs will need to look at their existing technology infrastructure and analyse whether immediate savings can be made, and find the most efficient route to implementation.

Given financial constraints, these changes are unlikely to be wholesale; rather leaders should look towards implementing change on a ‘needs-first’ basis. If the solution is scalable, decision makers can consider wider adoption when, or if, additional funding becomes available.

Cloud adoption in local government today

As it stands, cloud adoption in local government is a mixed bag. Since the UK government released their Cloud First policy in 2013, cloud adoption has risen steadily, but the sector has been slow to fully embrace cloud-based solutions.

A 2023 survey by Advanced shows that local government organisations remain hesitant when it comes to the cloud: 53% of local government professionals said their organisation uses a combination of cloud and on-premise applications. This compares with a figure of 36% across industry as a whole.

The same survey shows that only 38% of respondents consider their organisation to be ‘very secure’ when it comes to cyberattacks – a somewhat alarming figure given the volume of confidential public data held in government systems.

Considering cost

There is little doubt that cost is a primary consideration for local authorities when implementing new digital solutions in 2024. Having already invested in on-premise infrastructure, CFOs and other finance professionals may be reluctant to make sweeping changes.

From a practical and cost viewpoint, one solution would be to limit cloud migration to one area of the organisation at the outset. By breaking down your cloud adoption strategy into small projects that are developed incrementally, you are able to mitigate risk, with the chance to assess adoption rates and develop training plans.

When assessing cost, it is useful to evaluate total cost of ownership (TCO). This is the initial, up-front cost, and the ongoing cost of running an asset. In the case of on-premise infrastructure, these costs include licensing fees, maintenance, repairs, and tech support.

Cloud solutions also come with licensing fees and other costs, but these are typically built into a monthly subscription. The net result, in most cases, is that cloud adoption is cheaper – implementing Azure Virtual Desktop, for example, can lead to 60% savings on licensing, and 70% savings on infrastructure.

Non-financial benefits

While migrating to the cloud can reduce spend, there are other, non-financial benefits to consider. A major benefit is the agility that cloud adoption brings; with hybrid, remote, and flexible working patterns now common, employees need the ability to work outside of the office, whether from a mobile device or virtual desktop.

For local government bodies with many disparate functions, this agility is of particular value. With cloud capabilities, work can be streamlined in the areas of care giving, maintenance and repairs, waste removal, highways, and any role requiring real-time communication between operatives and office-based management.

Another benefit of the cloud is a reduced need for security resources.  Cloud providers must adhere to strict security standards, with dedicated staff to safeguard against cyberattacks and data threats. While a properly administered on-premise site may offers high levels of security, this requires staff with the right level of expertise and additional resources to ensure the network remains secure.

Types of cloud adoption

There are three main types of cloud computing: public, private, and hybrid. For organisations dealing with highly sensitive data, a private cloud system is recommended – this keeps all data secure within an off-premise environment that is entirely dedicated to the individual organisation.

Other organisations may prefer a hybrid cloud model. The hybrid cloud allows the user to access applications on the public cloud (Microsoft 365 for example), with the option to store sensitive data securely on private cloud infrastructure. This model allows organisations to remain compliant with data privacy, while enjoying the benefits of public cloud access.

To ensure cloud infrastructure is deployed correctly, many public bodies opt for a managed system, enabling them to utilise staff in other areas of the organisation, with the assurance their cloud infrastructure is optimised and protected on an ongoing basis.

Real-world use in local government

Powys council have a long-standing relationship with Advanced – they began running Financials on their servers in 1996.  However, as time moved on, they found that employees with the requisite skills were no longer available, and were forced to rethink their setup.

In 2008, Advanced took over the hosting of Financials in their own Tier 3 data centres, bringing increased productivity and time savings to the council. With Advanced’s industry-leading security systems on board, Powys council had complete assurance that their critical financial data was being protected in a highly secure environment.

Powys have since implemented additional Advanced products, including budgeting and forecasting software, automated invoicing, and eProcurement, the council’s front-end solution to view data and create orders. Utilising Advanced’s cloud solutions and services has helped Powys council perform their day-to-day tasks without interruption, and with greater efficiency.


Find out more about how cloud solutions from Advanced power the world of work in local government.  

Blog Thought Leadership Public
OneAdvanced PR

OneAdvanced PR

PUBLISHED BY

Author

Our press team, delivering thought leadership and insightful market analysis.

Read published articles