Confidence in internal IT hinders govt cloud projects

Government agencies' confidence in private clouds built by internal IT may prevent collaborative deployments across whole public sector, nullifying aim of being an engaged government, new research shows.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

The strong level of confidence among civil servants that their internal IT departments are capable of building private cloud environments may be a stumbling block to more collaborative cloud deployments with other government agencies and hinder engagement with the citizenry, a new research report states.

Released Wednesday, the report by IDC Government Insights Asia-Pacific revealed that 59 percent of IT decision-makers in the public sector in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, were confident of their IT units building competent private cloud environments. While this confidence is good to have, the research firm cautioned that this mindset might hinder different departments within government agencies from working together on collaborative cloud projects.

"A department highly confident in running its own private cloud environment may run the risk of not reaching out to other internal departments to collaborate on cloud opportunities," said Frank Levering, research manager for IDC Government Insights Asia-Pacific. Ultimately, this does not bode well for a collaborative and citizen-engaging government, he warned.

Governments initially seek cloud-based offerings to deliver cost advantages and better manage resources, but eventually cloud implementations need to be about inter-department collaborations and citizen relationship management in order to reap the full benefits of its capabilities to deliver optimal citizen services, he pointed out.

Such engagement is critical, especially in major initiatives such as data classification for security purposes, IDC said. If agencies do not align their security levels, this could be a massive obstacle for future joint efforts, it added.

Hence, IDC recommended that whenever possible, governments in the region should consider cloud-based collaboration services instead of independent private cloud deployments.

That said, governments across Asia do recognize the need for collaboration in the cloud space, the report noted. There is already a significant installed base of collaborative applications in the cloud, which is expected to increase over the next 12 months, it said.

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