A key observation and recommendation from an Audit Scotland report on the country’s progress building a world leading digital nation highlights the importance of Cloud computing adoption:
“The Scottish Government needs to do more to put the right infrastructure in place to support change. Currently it is not leading by example in the use of cloud technologies, a key part of its strategy.”
As they detailed in this blog the Scottish Government began developing a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE), with aims of helping organisations across the Scottish public sector realise benefits associated with using cloud, providing thought leadership and guidance to Scottish Public Sector organisations as they plan, progress and manage their adoption of cloud services.
This has culminated in establishing their ‘Cloud First‘ policy framework. As the name suggests a requirement that all new IT procurement opts first for a Cloud service if possible.
In 2022 they published this RFI, which began their plans to build a multi-tenanted public Cloud Platform Service, with the Scottish Government acting as an exemplar, to encourage and support public sector bodies towards using cloud services and to realise the benefits of cloud computing, in line with the updated Digital Strategy published in March 2021.
“The Cloud Platform Service accelerates the adoption of modern cloud technology in the Scottish public sector, making services secure, sustainable and cost-effective. Using the platform speeds up development, provides access to discounts and prevents duplication of effort.
Four programmes have been running on the Alpha AWS service since May 2022 and additional agencies are onboarding. The AWS service goes live in August 2023, and the Azure service goes into Beta at the same time.”
Best Practices for Adoption and Implementation
This programme is accompanied by a set of best practices for public sector Cloud adoption. The Benefits of Cloud information will help stakeholders understand the many benefits of using pubic cloud services.
It provides a high-level overview of the different aspects and uses of cloud, with the accompanying Cloud Primer offering an introduction, allowing staff from different parts of the organisation to take part in discussions about cloud, and includes seven Cloud Principles to guide organisations in using cloud appropriately and securely.