Thursday, 25th April 2019
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UK police forces yet to fully embrace cloud migration

New data reveals the majority of police forces still access and manage data and applications on-premises.

The vast majority (75%) of UK police forces still access and manage their data and applications on-premises, according to figures released today by Citrix. This new data was obtained through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, issued to 43 police forces across the UK, with 24 of them responding.

Cloud migration still a work in progress

In 2013, the government introduced a ‘Cloud First’ policyadvising that all public sector organisations should consider cloud solutions above all else when procuring new or existing services, with the public cloud being the preferred deployment model to achieve this ‘cloud first’ vision. The Government Cloud Strategystates that “by exploiting innovations in cloud computing we will transform the public sector ICT estate into one that is agile, cost effective and environmentally sustainable.”

Despite these guidelines, the figures released today indicate that there is still progress to be made in regards to cloud migration amongst UK police forces – with less than one third (29%) currently accessing and managing their data in public clouds. In addition, the majority (71%) of responding forces currently store less than a quarter of their data and applications in a cloud environment, with an additional one in ten (13%) stating that none of their data and applications are stored ‘in the cloud’.

Investments in change

Encouragingly, the new data revealed that the majority (88%) of UK polices forces are considering investment in cloud infrastructure and technologies – such as software, platform or infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS or IaaS) – within the next 12 months.

To cut costs and foster a more flexible way of working, over two thirds (67%) of UK police forces are also planning to outsource or downsize their physical IT infrastructure in favour of a cloud model within the next twelve months, with a quarter of respondents (25%) having already done so. Alongside this, nearly four in five (79%) police forces are enabling their frontline officers to access data and applications while out in the field – enabling better decision making and improved incident management.

Darren Fields, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Citrix, said:

“Police forces today face enormous pressure from both central government and the general public to reduce crime rates, despite a drop in the number of officers on the beat. Alongside this, the evolving cyber threat landscape means all organisations are targets for cyber-criminals – especially those with access to such sensitive information.

“With a 19 per cent reduction in funding from central government and council taxes since 2010/11, police forces are on the lookout for innovative, cost effective technology to improve security and increase operational efficiency. Yet, many police forces across the UK are held back by legacy IT systems – making it a challenging exercise to consolidate and transition data and applications to the cloud. However, the cloud will inevitably become integral to service delivery – due to solutions typically being cost effective, scalable, secure and flexible – and is likely to become an indispensable asset for police forces in the year ahead.”

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