The UK Government unveiled its Government Transformation Strategy til 2020 today (9th February 2017).
Here is an interesting quote from the Ministerial Foreward:
The imperative is to change, therefore – and to do so at pace and at scale. This is the meaning of transformation. It is in essence a change of working, of culture and of disposition – changes that are made possible by digital technology. That technology is not change itself; it enables the change that is so transformative.
A solution to emulate
The UK Government came top in both of the United Nations e-Government and e-Participation Surveys in 2016, It has developed the award-winning and internationally renowned GOV.UK – and has opened its source code, which has been reused by governments around the world. The Government Digital Service (GDS) has led the digital transformation of government and is a model that is being copied internationally.
The UK Government is also squarely behind using public Cloud services. Only when public Cloud services are evaluated and cannot provide the required service may government departments consider alternatives. In these continuing days of austerity, government departments remain free to choose an alternative to the cloud but will need to demonstrate that it offers better value for money.
This is of interest to the private sector also wishing to implement Cloud solutions, as it shows a well-considered policy that the public sector must deliver, one which is secure, trustworthy, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective: all the things expected by your users and openly documented by the UK Government.
The Government’s Cloud First policy means the public cloud rather than a community, hybrid, or private deployment model should be initially considered. There are circumstances where the other deployment models are appropriate but the primary benefits for government come when it embraces the public cloud. Departments are encouraged to initially consider ‘Software as a Service’ [SaaS] models, particularly for their enterprise IT and back office functions.
IaaS and PaaS
Where bespoke development is necessary, departments should still make use of public cloud hosting. This is an evolving area, which started with ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ [IaaS], and is changing with the development of ‘Platform as a Service’ [PaaS] offerings.
eGov information classified as ‘official’ can (and should) use public cloud services. For holding or processing information classified as ‘secret’, the UK Government uses its own data centres, known as Crown Hosting, but even then services hosted on Crown Hosting data centres are expected to migrate to public cloud services over time.
Nevertheless, all information, regardless of classification, must be transmitted and held securely. To this end, the government has drawn up a guidance document providing a Summary of Cloud Security Principles, which is well worth a read.