Guidance

Use cloud first

Use the cloud first policy by evaluating cloud computing before other options.

To meet point 5 of the Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) and the government’s cloud first policy, your plans must show you’ve considered using cloud computing before other options.

If you’re going through the spend control process you must explain how you’re trying to meet point 5.

The Central Digital and Data Office is currently collecting feedback on the Technology Code of Practice. The aim is to improve the content and make sure it meets user needs. If you want to add your feedback, please complete this short survey.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a way of storing and retrieving data and software over the internet without buying your own hardware. The 3 main types of cloud computing service you can use are:

  • software-as-a-service (SaaS), which provides applications over the internet
  • platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which provides platforms for developing, testing and deploying your applications over the internet
  • infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which provides the virtual infrastructure or network you need to host services over the internet

How using the cloud will help you

You can use cloud computing to treat compute, network, storage and power as utilities. This means you can:

  • spend more time building the services that are important to your users and less time running data centres
  • avoid upfront investments on your infrastructure
  • reduce your overall costs by making use of the scalable pricing model
  • have greater flexibility to trial new services or make changes, with lower cost and effort
  • meet the Greening Government strategy, and reduce your environmental impact by using cloud facilities with more efficient use of power and server space
  • have greater security as the provider will make regular technology upgrades and apply security patches
  • have better service availability for all users
  • increase access to skilled resources to support your staff
  • allow for better continuous improvement planning

Choosing the cloud computing services for your organisation

When you procure or renew services, all government organisations must consider and fully evaluate potential cloud solutions first before you consider any other option.

You can read guidance on migrating to and using cloud in the public sector, to help you choose and use cloud computing services.

You can also use GOV.UK Platform as a Service to provide underlying infrastructure and host services in the cloud.

To choose the right cloud computing service for your organisation you’ll need to:

Migrating to the cloud

When choosing how and what to migrate to the cloud, you should:

Next: Technology Code of Practice point 6 - Make things secure

Published 6 November 2017
Last updated 31 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Addition of a temporary research survey to get user feedback on the Technology Code of Practice.

  2. Updating the language and links to align with the Cloud Guide

  3. First published.