Use cloud first

Use public cloud first as stated in the government’s cloud first policy.

To meet point 5 of the Technology Code of Practice your plan or design must show you have considered using the public cloud as stated in the government’s cloud first policy.

If you’re going through the spend control process you must explain how you’re meeting point 5 or any limitations you’ve encountered.

Summary description of cloud computing

Cloud computing is a way of storing and retrieving data and software over the internet. The 3 main service areas are:

  • software-as-a-service (SaaS), which is the use of applications over the internet
  • platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which provides the platform for developing, testing and deploying your applications over the internet
  • infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which provides the physical technology infrastructure/network virtually over the internet without the need for you to buy your own hardware

How adopting cloud first will help your programme

You can use cloud computing to treat compute, network, storage and power as utilities. This approach is beneficial because:

  • you can avoid upfront investments in your infrastructure, reducing overall costs
  • there’s greater flexibility to trial new services or make changes, with minimal cost
  • pricing models are scaleable - instead of building for the maximum usage you buy for less usage and increase or decrease as appropriate
  • it will be easier to meet the Greening Government Commitments - cloud facilities typically try to use server space and power in the most efficient way possible
  • upgrades and security patches can be applied continuously
  • the supplier will have responsibility for making sure your service has good availability for users

For greater detail on the benefits of using cloud, you can read the blog posts on Why we use the cloud: security and efficiency and Why we use the cloud: supporting services

Following the cloud first policy

Follow the cloud first policy by:

  • evaluating potential public cloud services before you consider alternatives such as Crown Hosting, which is a data centre available for all of government
  • demonstrating your chosen service represents the best value for money if selecting an alternative to public cloud - you must also show you’ve allowed for flexibility by being able to change the system and reduce costs over time

Read how the Department for Transport is using cloud technology.

Using the cloud securely

The main guidance for securing your network, services and data in the cloud is:

Published 6 November 2017