Cloud Computing in Local Government: From the Perspective of Four London Borough Councils

Cloud Computing in Local Government: From the Perspective of Four London Borough Councils

Jeffrey Chang (Faculty of Business, London South Bank University, London, UK) and Mark Johnston (Metropolitan Police Service, Kent, UK)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijcac.2012100101
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Abstract

Although there is no precise definition, cloud computing refers to a scalable network infrastructure where consumers receive IT services such as software and data storage through the Internet on a subscription basis, like traditional utilities. Potential benefits include cost savings, simpler IT, and reduced energy consumption. The UK government and local authorities, like commercial organisations, are considering cloud-based services. However, concerns have been raised over issues such as security, access, data protection, and ownership. This paper investigates the likely impact of cloud computing on local government based on a conceptual framework and case studies of four London borough councils. It reveals that the concept of cloud computing is new and not clearly understood. Local authorities, who in the current economic downturn face further cuts in government funding, welcome a cloud-based IT infrastructure which may lead to considerable savings. Yet with their risk-adverse attitude local authorities are more likely to adopt a hybrid approach to implementation. Concerns over data security and privacy may be overcome if relevant laws and standards are complied with.
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The Conceptual Framework For Implementing Cloud Computing In Local Government

The conceptual framework (Figure 1) draws on two models for analysing the change process: Lewin’s model (Lewin, 1947) and PEST. Key issues of cloud computing are outlined using the PEST framework (political, economical, social and technological) to give the general background and the relevance of cloud computing for government organisations. Through applying Kurt Lewin’s change process model driving forces and resisting forces are identified.

Figure 1.

A conceptual framework of implementing cloud computing in local government (Chang, 2011)

The implementation of cloud computing involves business process change, information assurance and governance, and choices of vendors, products, platform and approach. The issues, as set out in the conceptual framework, are briefly outlined as below.

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