Perceptions of cloud computing in the South African government
Includes bibliographical references.
The South African government is unable to provide efficient Information Technology (IT) services to the citizens because of the fragmented approach in government where each department procures their own IT services and equipment. This leads to a silo approach and no sharing across the departments. The rapid technology advancements are creating new opportunities and a new way of working. Government is unable to respond to the demand and the rigid procurement makes getting a new service or equipment a laborious task. The departments do not have buying power because of the silo approach. There are no economies of scale, integration and interoperability that will make technology less expensive and shared across government. The diverse environments that have different technologies are growing and becoming increasingly more complex and unmanageable. The suppliers are going directly to the departments by by-passing the government mandate. Cloud computing is an option to assist government but the adoption of cloud computing is slow. If the situation remains the same or if nothing is done to improve the government ICT services, the service delivery for efficient ICT services to citizens will decline. An example is: People will need to take time off from their jobs in order to go to a government department and then wait in the long queues to get a basic service - this will create frustration and dissatisfaction towards the SA government. This is time consuming as each time that a person will need a service then they will have to go to the government department for a service that could have been offered as an ICT service. A survey was conducted for the government users and the primary objectives was to determine the awareness of government IT employees about cloud computing and government IT employee readiness to implement cloud computing solutions. The results show that government users are in favour of using cloud computing and understand the many benefits and challenges. Poor security is the number one disadvantage; and the government department must ensure that the data in cloud computing is kept secure. E-Mail, ECM and ERP software are the most used software in government that must move to cloud computing. A government cloud and community cloud must be used in order to keep data secure. For a successful adoption of cloud computing, the important drivers that must be considered includes: scalability of infrastructure, reduce cost as it is pay for what is used, skills training and ensure business continuity.