Computing is undergoing a seismic shift from client/server-based systems to the cloud, a shift similar in importance and impact to the transition from the mainframe to client/server. At the same time, global economic conditions and public sector fiscal constraints require more cost-efficient use of resources, even as demands to better serve citizens continue to grow. Government leaders have a critical need for a clear vision of where the IT industry is heading, and how the transition to cloud computing can contribute to their immediate needs for costs savings as well as their broader interests in economic growth.

Our free white paper on  “The Economics of Cloud Computing for the EU Public Sector” assesses the economics of the cloud by using in-depth modelling and analysis. We then use this framework to better understand the long-term IT landscape and what it means for governments.

Cloud enables government leaders to better deliver on some of their key priorities:

  • Fiscal responsibility: In times of tight budgets, cloud can help governments achieve necessary spending cuts without cutting into essential services
  • Better serve citizens: Cloud can help make governments more responsive to the needs of its citizens, and increase collaboration and coordination between departments
  • Lower emissions:  New cloud facilities are less power-hungry than existing IT infrastructure and require fewer servers to generate the same output by running them more efficiently

At the same time, governments have questions about cloud security and privacy, governance issues, as well as compliance and data sovereignty requirements. These concerns prompt IT leaders to explore private clouds which utilize cloud technology without sharing the underlying infrastructure with others:

While private clouds can achieve some degree of cost savings from the scale economies we describe while addressing some governmental concerns about cloud, our analysis reveals there is a price premium associated with private clouds, as the benefits of scale do not apply equally to public clouds and private clouds. Through our analysis, we show that over time the cost of private clouds will increase to be 10x higher than public clouds, while barriers to public cloud adoption will be addressed to a greater degree. Government leaders must therefore weigh the implications of both choosing a private cloud for their own IT and of enacting regulation that might inhibit the use of public clouds by their citizens.

To accomplish this, IT leaders need a partner who is firmly committed to the long-term vision of the cloud and its opportunities, one who is not clinging to legacy IT architectures. This partner will neither push for change faster than is responsible nor argue to keep IT the same for the benefit of old business models. Customers need a partner who has done the hard work of engineering a way to marry legacy IT with the cloud, rather than placing that burden on customers by ignoring the complexities of this transformation.

Andre Di Maio, Vice-president and distinguished analyst at Garner has already commented in his blog on our Cloud Economics white paper:

 “It is surprisingly refreshing since it does not try to match the reality of current Microsoft’s offering, which spans from on-premises, to dedicated and shared implementations, potentially able to meet any flavour of cloud. On the contrary Microsoft shows remarkable common sense in providing public sector clients with a realistic and cautionary picture about both private and community clouds.”

You can download the Microsoft Cloud Economics for the Public Sector paper here and see if its analyses and perspectives apply to your anticipated journey to cloud computing.

Posted by Ian