An important decision for all public bodies is to evaluate the pros and cons of utilizing the cloud in their organization and decide on which cases the adoption of cloud is beneficial and in which case applications of a public organization have to be used as cloud native applications.

Starting with the benefits of using cloud we consider the following:

Using the Cloud is suggested when there is lack of the IT resources needed for the maintenance and management of the underlying infrastructure. Setting up and maintaining on-premise solutions can be time-consuming, and require lots of resources, especially IT experts, resulting in substantial technical and management challenges. Cloud resources simplify all of this by removing the on-site equipment, simultaneously making upgrades a less expensive, headache-free and more seamless experience [1].

Using the Cloud can help reducing overhead costs. A crucial aspect for the public bodies that can push towards the usage of cloud is the possibility to remove the substantial upfront expense of installing an on-premise solution and eliminating the need for dedicated hardware. So apart from having no equipment and infrastructural services to maintain, monthly payments based on usage might be more appropriate to specific public bodies.

A proper cloud installation provides reliable data backup. Especially when a public cloud is used, fail safes and backups mechanisms are built into cloud services, thus making the management of the deployed services and data a lot easier. And even if a private cloud has been constructed, built-in redundancies and backup mechanisms should be used

Cloud usage can help providing applications faster, thus fostering innovation and improving the overall state of public organizations. Using the Cloud allows public organizations to quickly and efficiently deploy services and make them available. In comparison to the in traditional deployments, by using cloud (both private cloud with appropriate resources or a public cloud) an organization is able to focus its resources on the development or refining of cloud services, rather than spending time with tactical, or technical issues.

However, it is there are also some facts that have been taken under consideration before moving to the Cloud. These facts apply not only to the organization level but also at application/service level, as a public organization can move only some of the applications on the cloud or make a gradual move to this direction.

If the application/service that is about to be migrated is performing to expectations. If an existing on-premise solution is working properly and truly meeting expectations, there might be no need to migrate the application to a cloud environment. However, it has to been analysed if the solution is optimized for cost aspect as well, as a common issue with on-premise solutions is that the resources are heavily underutilized.

In public organization, specific security measures and/or unique regulatory compliance have to be taken under consideration, thus making the usage of public cloud providers difficult or not possible. The ideal solution in this case is to setup and utilize a private cloud. STRATEGIC supports public organizations in this difficulty as its provides regional information of the infrastructure, supports private installations and the consortium has made the exercise of investigating the regulatory compliance of the pilot cases in three European countries (UK, Italy, Serbia).

Finally, it has to be mentioned that if an investment in on-premise infrastructure and services has been done recently, there is no rush for an organization to move to the Cloud, as it would be more difficult to reap the benefits of this change. One solution on this is to create a private cloud using this infrastructure, however even this should be done with proper planning, to avoid spending more resources than normally would be spent.

[1] http://www.manageforce.com/blog/to-cloud-or-not-to-cloud-in-2017