Use the cloud first policy by evaluating 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.
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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:
- make sure it fits with your cloud hosting strategy
- consider your legacy technology
- assess a hosting business case
Migrating to the cloud
When choosing how and what to migrate to the cloud, you should:
- be aware of government policy and guidance on offshoring and data residency
- make sure your chosen cloud solution has the appropriate level of security
- where possible, choose a multidisciplinary team of commercial, technical and service delivery
- consider the amount of vendor lock-in and how to manage technical lock-in in the cloud you’re willing to accept
- make sure your staff have suitable training to implement and use cloud computing
Next: Technology Code of Practice point 6 - Make things secure