The rise in popularity of cloud computing over the last 15 years has not been limited to the private sector in Australia. Many public sector organisations have also migrated a large portion of their ICT services to the cloud and more are set to follow suit in the future. The reasons behind this trend are manifold: the public sector cloud in Australia offers a number of key benefits to organisations of all sizes. Below, we discuss some of the most important benefits for public sector organisations that migrate their applications and data to the cloud.
The main benefits of moving to the cloud for the public sector
Both large federal government entities and smaller local government organisations can benefit greatly from a well-managed cloud migration.
- Industry-leading security — Data integrity and security is of vital importance in the public sector, as the fallout from embarrassing data leaks has illustrated in recent years. Although some people worry that cloud-based solutions are actually less secure, this is not the case. Reputable cloud service providers employ state-of-the-art security technology that meets the highest standards. Security measures in place at cloud data centres include not just software protection but physical protection too.
- Support for agile development methodologies — The ability to bring new cloud computing instances online quickly and economically makes it easier for public sector developers to test and roll out new applications. Agile development methodologies help public sector organisations to rapidly adapt their ICT services to meet the changing needs of citizens across the country.
- Potential cost savings — A well organised and well-managed migration to the cloud can lower future ICT costs for government organisations. In a sector where cost is always a hot topic, any cost savings are welcome and those associated with cloud computing can be significant. On-demand cloud computing makes it easy to scale resources and services up or down at short notice, ensuring that only those resources that are actually needed will have to be paid for. Furthermore, future expansions can be accommodated by bringing more cloud resources online, without the need for capital expenditure.
- More efficient collaboration — With data and applications hosted in the cloud, inter-departmental collaboration can be achieved more efficiently. There is no need to duplicate stored data as everybody has access to the same databases and changes that are made to data are immediately reflected across the board.
- Location independence — In a world where remote working is becoming increasingly popular, the ability to securely log in to departmental applications and services from any location is a great benefit. As long as employees have a stable internet connection, they can access cloud applications, data and services without having to travel to the office.
As more and more public sector organisations in Australia become aware of the benefits that cloud computing has to offer, it is anticipated that the cloud migration trend will accelerate in the coming years. Organisations that do not migrate are likely to be in a small minority.