A report by the Society of IT Managers (Socitm) shows the potential benefits of the cloud for public services, including flexibility and lower costs, especially as the costs of buying and maintaining server infrastructure and datacentres can be shifted outside a company.
Cloud computing uses the web to provide IT facilities and services that are hosted elsewhere on the internet.
The report warns there are security and continuity risks with agile cloud computing, that public sector IT managers may find difficult to live with. But it adds that a fortress approach is untenable.
The briefing urges local authority IT managers, if they have not already done so, to prepare strategies now to embrace cloud computing and associated developments like Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and service-oriented architecture (SOA).
Author Chris Head said: "Cloud computing offers low cost and very easily reconfigurable services and its use by the private sector will create expectations of responsiveness among those using public services."
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