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Cloud computing – how is its potential being realised in the Nordic Region?

Cloud computing comprises IT solutions delivered over the internet. Cloud computing gives users the ability to achieve significant savings in public IT budgets, increases flexibility in the use of IT systems and helps to create innovation and growth in the Nordic Region. This means that they do not have to maintain their own dedicated servers and the major economies of scale involved help force prices down.


Cloud computing offers considerable potential for streamlining IT in the public sector. This has been documented in an increasing number of studies, such as the report Nordic Public Sector Cloud Computing published by the Nordic Council of Minsters in 2012. 


Public innovation


Cloud computing gives public authorities new opportunities for creating innovation and doing things differently. Because cloud computing is delivered as a service there is a better opportunity to experiment and try different things. A cloud solution can easily be scaled up or down. And there is the opportunity to make its services available quickly.


Barriers


There are a number of regulatory and security barriers to the use of cloud solutions in the public sector in the Region. E.g. how public bodies would protect sensitive personal data in their use of a cloud solution.

Below, Nordic IT co-operation in the Nordic Council of Ministers presents several good examples of how a number of public authorities in the Nordic countries have defied these barriers and used cloud computing to achieve significant savings and efficiency in their IT operations. The aim is to inspire and encourage others to embark on utilising this potential.


Personal data in safe hands


One barrier to the use of cloud computing in the public sector is the challenges faced in complying with the regulations in the area, especially personal data regulations. A particular focal point has been the question of where data is located and whether a satisfactory data processing agreement can be entered into.

Cloud computing is a relatively new way to deliver IT systems. This means that as yet, several public authorities lack experience in purchasing cloud services. When purchasing, public authorities must meet the rules of tender, and this can be difficult to reconcile with cloud computing, which is delivered as a service and with standard contracts.

Nevertheless, there are good opportunities for arranging the purchase of cloud services for public authorities as well.


Contact

Morten Jørsum
Head of Section, Agency for the Modernisation of Public Administration
Tel.: +45 7231 9186
E-mail: mojo@itst.dk