Paul Greenhead and Mark Thompson wrote a guest blog as part of Tech UK’s #PlaceLedInnovation campaign week.
As an organisation that has been enthusing about Cloud to various local service providers for many years now, we have encountered three typical misgivings from customers about using Cloud, which we experienced in ‘phases’. During ‘phase 1’ (2012-2015; G-Cloud started in 2012), many people expressed nervousness about security – coming from a tradition of on-prem hosting. During ‘Phase 2’ (2015-2019), we would have many conversations with organisations that were happier storing data in the Cloud, but saw Cloud as place for just that and no more – storing data. ‘Phase 3’ (2020-) sees us starting to have conversations about Cloud utilities and services – for example, stringing together optical character recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, process automation, web services etc – to start to deliver against a range of exciting, often revolutionary, citizen-centred use cases. Examples of these include quickly contacting relatives of lost or confused people, fixing potholes, automatically identifying different types of flytipping and organising tailored responses, blasting through process-heavy workflow, etc. Even now, however, we often encounter an important objection: “We’re a local organisation, so why would we want to consume a standard service?”.