Published on November 23, 2023
As government agencies, educational institutions, and other public organizations strive to meet the rising demands of an increasingly connected world, they are confronted with a pressing need to modernize and streamline their operations.
Embracing cloud migration has emerged as the beacon of hope.
The concept of cloud migration represents a profound paradigm shift, one that transcends traditional IT infrastructure and revolutionizes the way public entities function.
By harnessing the power of the cloud, these public agencies can unshackle themselves from the limitations of outdated systems, embrace innovation, and create an agile environment capable of meeting the dynamic challenges of the 21st century.
During the pandemic, cloud services really proved useful in several countries.
One such example is Rwanda, where cloud services played a crucial role in addressing a severe shortage of healthcare workers.
Through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), an innovative application connected to the cloud offered life-saving medical triage.
Utilizing an AI symptom checker, the application assessed patients’ conditions and monitored their recovery progress, effectively relieving healthcare workers to attend to other urgent cases.
Harnessing the advantages of the global digital economy
In developed countries, governments have embraced modern cloud-based solutions to manage their data… while in developing countries, they often stick to traditional IT systems.
In developed countries, the shift towards cloud-based solutions has been driven by the recognition of the benefits they offer.
Cloud services provide greater flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness compared to legacy IT systems.
By using public cloud services shared among multiple clients, governments can reduce infrastructure costs and optimize resource utilization.
On the other hand, developing countries may face challenges in fully embracing cloud services.
Some of the factors contributing to this disparity include:
- limited IT infrastructure,
- concerns about data security and privacy,
- and potential regulatory limitations.
Additionally, maintaining or expanding legacy IT systems might seem like a safer option.
This is especially if there is a lack of awareness or understanding of the potential advantages that cloud services can bring.
Which countries are leading with cloud policies
The U.S. government has been actively promoting cloud adoption through its “Cloud Smart” strategy.
The Cloud Smart policy encourages agencies to make the most of cloud technologies to improve efficiency, security, and cost-effectiveness.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the government follows a “Cloud First” policy, prioritizing public cloud solutions for integrating technology with public services.
Ministries have the freedom to choose the most suitable cloud solution (based on security, flexibility, and value for money among other factors, of course.)
The Australian government’s “Secure Cloud Strategy” promotes cloud adoption in government agencies, aiming to deliver better public services, reduce costs, and enhance security.
On the other hand, Singapore opted for a “G-cloud,” (Government Cloud) a private cloud dedicated to the government, ensuring strict security and governance adherence.
This approach allows for hybrid solutions where public and private clouds can work together, and ministries can select other solutions if necessary.
Reaping the benefits of the global digital economy
Governments, especially in developing nations, hold a unique position to build confidence in cloud technologies and drive digital transformation.
Their endorsement of cloud services signals to businesses and the public that these solutions are reliable and secure.
This vote of confidence can encourage local industries to leverage cloud technologies, maximizing their access to digital advantages and fostering growth across various sectors.
By adopting cloud services, governments not only improve the efficiency of their own public services but also act as catalysts for broader digital progress.
Through this transformative shift, they help bridge the digital gap, ensuring that local businesses, entrepreneurs, and citizens can reap the benefits of the digital economy and participate more effectively in the global digital landscape.
In this journey towards a cloud-enabled future, public sector and local industries will experience newfound agility, improved service delivery, and heightened competitiveness in the global digital economy.
As cloud services become a catalyst for progress, governments must embrace their role as champions of digital transformation, ensuring that no nation is left behind and that every citizen can harness the boundless potential of the cloud in shaping a more connected world.
About the Author
Mohammad J Sear is focused on bringing purpose to digital in government.
He has obtained his leadership training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK.
After a successful 12+ years career in the UK government during the premiership of three Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, Mohammad moved to the private sector and has now for 20+ years been advising government organizations in the UK, Middle East, Australasia and South Asia on strategic challenges and digital transformation.
He is currently working for Ernst & Young (EY) and leading the Digital Government practice efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and is also a Digital Government and Innovation lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, France.
As a thought-leader some of the articles he has authored include: “Digital is great but exclusion isn’t – make data work for driving better digital inclusion” published in Harvard Business Review, “Holistic Digital Government” published in the MIT Technology Review, “Want To Make Citizens Happy – Put Experience First” published in Forbes Middle East.
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