Public cloud secure, G-Cloud conference told

Public cloud is more secure than any private cloud is likely to be says Richard Sykes, chair of the Cloud Industry Forum

Public cloud is more secure than any private cloud is likely to be says Richard Sykes, chair of the Cloud Industry Forum.

“Suppliers of public cloud services are experts and focused on security, so if security is a real issue, get into public cloud as soon as you can,” he told the G-Cloud in Practice conference organised by SCC in London.

However, he did say it is important to do due diligence in selecting suppliers.

Apart from security, Sykes highlighted other key issues he has identified with the G-Cloud initiative since first becoming involved with the initiative in 2009 as a board member at Intellect UK.

“G-Cloud is about government taking a determined approach to market making,” he said.

The initiative provides the opportunity for government to find the services they require and work with new players who are bringing new services to market through cloud computing.

“G-Cloud is also about government transforming core requirements for technology through standardisation,” said Sykes.

The needs of government departments differ very little, so there is often no need for customised services, he said.

Read more about public cloud

“The Borough of Hillingdon has standardised on Google Apps, for example, proving that it works, so there is no reason other boroughs should not do the same,” said Sykes.

The final issue Sykes highlighted is the need, in his view, for someone in government to take a leadership position in consolidating the number of datacentres currently being used.

“Government is using more than 200 datacentres, but this could be consolidated down to around 10, which will bring tremendous cost benefits,” he said.

According to Sykes, the foundation of G-Cloud is the new generation of “manufacturers” who are offering highly-commoditised, secure, green, standardised platforms and services.

“Platforms are liberating large, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to deliver services on those platforms without worrying about the underlying systems,” he said.

The G-Cloud, said Sykes, provides an opportunity to explore the possibility of sourcing new suppliers, for suppliers to offer new services in new ways, and for all to test new business models.

“The biggest force for change will be the determination of government departments to break up legacy systems and take advantage of all the new opportunities,” he said.

Read more on Cloud security