A survey of IT decision-makers found that more than half of public sector survey respondents have no budget assigned specifically to cloud computing, and none of the respondents have more than 15% budget allocated to cloud.

The survey results are analysed in a new report that discusses cloud computing with specific reference to the role played by the European Commission and highlights the ways that public sector organisations can benefit from cloud computing and different cloud categories, such as, public, private, hybrid clouds, and their suitability for certain types of applications.

The report highlights top recommendations and actions to consider for public sector CIOs, key IT decision makers, and IT professionals considering moving into the cloud.

The survey shows that the opportunity for public sector organisations to capitalize on the benefits is clear, but the uneasiness of walking into the unknown is equally evident. However, it is encouraging to see that almost 29% of respondents agree that improving service levels and business agility and ease of deployment to end users would be the two main reasons for government organizations in Western Europe to adopt public cloud.

Key findings from the survey reveal that:

  • 46% of respondents expressed that concerns about security are holding back the adoption of cloud computing by governments
  • For public cloud services, IT management was ranked as the most suitable function, followed by data backup, archive services, and application development and testing
  • For private cloud services, data backup, archive services and server or storage capacity on demand were considered most suitable functions
  • 36.3% of respondents agree that current laws/regulations hinder the use of cloud computing by their government agency or department
  • Over 50% of respondents agree that use of cloud services would reduce the volume of data stored on laptops and other personal devices in their government agency/department and thereby reduce the potential for data loss

Western European government respondents are very conservative. Although there is some commitment to cloud, it is telling that in almost all instances, more than 75% of respondents said they had not deployed and were not planning to deploy cloud for any solution in the next 12 months. It should be said that across the other regions, such as Central and Eastern Europe and Asia/Pacific, government respondents were equally conservative.

There seems to be little doubt that despite the rhetoric, the private sector continues to lead the way in take-up of cloud services. Given the expectations of many that cloud computing will play a major role in government computing, it is a big surprise that the increases expected in cloud budgets over the next three years are so small.