Six in ten public sector IT executives admit they haven’t used G-Cloud in the past year, a study has found.
The government shouts proudly that its G-Cloud digital marketplace, which aims to drive digitisation in public services, has reached £1.39 billion in sales.
But despite rating digital transformation as the top challenge facing their organisations over the next year, only 8% of public sector IT executives have used the digital marketplace more than five times in the last year.
Public sector organisations are increasingly viewing the implementation of new digital systems as a key objective to help boost efficiency and improve services. The majority of survey respondents (57%) rated digital transformation as being of considerable or high importance for their organisation.
Over half (54%) also viewed compliance and security as a matter of importance, indicating that the need to improve data handling practices is an essential element of digitisation for public sector IT teams.
However, only around a quarter (27%) indicated cloud adoption as an important challenge for the next year.
According to government data, out of the £1.39 billion total sales since the launch of G-Cloud, central government departments have been responsible for £1.06 billion, compared with only £73 million from local authorities and £245 million from the wider public sector.
“In order for these organisations to achieve their digitisation goals, there is clearly a gap to be filled when it comes to engaging within the G-Cloud framework to access secure, flexible cloud services capable of servicing the sector’s growing needs,” said David Lozdan, head of public sector at Exponential-e, which conducted the research.
A third (33%) of respondents also indicated that concerns over data sovereignty would stop them from using public cloud services as part of a digital transformation programme.
This issue is particularly pressing given the uncertainty of the UK’s political status following its decision to exit the European Union, with 41% of public sector IT executives believing that Brexit will have a significant impact on their organisation.
“With questions over what Brexit means for the future of UK still looming large, data protection regulation is set to become increasingly complex as the government negotiates the departure,” said Lozdan. “It’s essential that public sector organisations carefully consider how their IT services are provisioned and take advantage of the flexibility, accreditations and quality assurance available within the digital marketplace.”
Exponential-e’s research examined the state of public sector technology and use of the digital framework. Its study queried IT professionals across the UK, covering local and central government, health, emergency services, education and the third sector.