2023 is a year of challenges for local authorities. Budgets are being squeezed, resources stretched, and dramatic cuts are coming into effect due to the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation.
However, the demand for services and the need for efficient delivery has never been greater with pressure to process claims, manage procurement, and improve service efficiency, all increasingly reliant on effective data and innovative technologies.
Due to efficient data and IT benefits, this reliance presents its own issues: data breaches, cyberattacks, particularly on council employees working from home, reduced recruitment and skill gaps, and the growing cost of managing massive data sets and reimbursing skilled specialists.
As local authorities navigate these hurdles, aiming to reap the benefits that improved data access and robust IT can bring, one area for consideration is the move from on-premises legacy data storage to the cloud.
In this article, we examine why this makes sense both from a budget and scalability point of view, along with enabling automation in a sector so dependent on data to deliver high-quality and cost-efficient public infrastructure and services.
What can cloud services deliver to local authorities?
As more local authorities turn to the cloud in line with The Government’s 2013 Cloud First Policy and increased pressure is applied to embrace digital technology and smarter services, we look at what its adoption can mean:
Cost savings: Facing mounting financial pressures, cloud services allow local authorities to save money by up to 60%. There is no need to pay high upfront capital costs for building and maintaining a data centre and outdated legacy infrastructure. In addition, PAYG pricing models mean paying only for the operational resources used and allow for flexibility and predictability in budget terms.
Enhanced scalability: With the cloud, resources can be quickly and easily scaled up or down depending on requirements. This is beneficial for those organisations that experience spikes in demand for services during key times of the year, such as project grant applications or tax seasons.
Effective remote working: In the post-pandemic and hybrid working world, it is vital that local authority staff can have uninterrupted and secure access to their data and applications from anywhere whilst working individually or collaborating as teams. The cloud allows for this, making it workable for everyone.
Increased security: Cloud providers invest heavily in multi-layers of security, and coupled with their robust security practices, local authorities can be reassured of high levels of protection. Additionally, because cloud providers are bound by strict data protection regulations such as GDPR, local authorities can remain compliant and avoid potential legal issues.
Greater sustainability: With no need to house physical infrastructure or buy and operate energy-consuming hardware, migrating to cloud computing services enables local authorities to reduce their carbon footprint. Moreover, Cloud Service Providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are increasingly moving to renewable energy sources to power their data centres, which can help achieve environmental and sustainability goals, a priority for the public sector.
AI Powered Automation: The cloud can allow for some manual tasks and workflows to be digitally automated, freeing up valuable staff to focus on other jobs. An example of this is in scanning documents and applications or delivering more self-service solutions for customers.
It is evident that a move to the cloud offers numerous benefits for those in local authorities and their customers; however, for many decision-makers, it is a daunting process that can be put to the side due to other priorities.
Therefore, A clear strategy supported by professional guidance and advice is vital. Brightsolid Cloud Migrations or Cloud Professional Services can help you assess your requirements and put together a comprehensive plan.
Speak to one of our friendly team today.