Cloud and Public Administration can no longer be separated. For years, Italy’s digitisation strategy has been based on increasing the use of cloud computing systems, with the aim of reducing the costs of Public Administration, making the services offered to citizens more efficient, and improving IT security.
The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) includes a one billion euro chapter for enabling and facilitating cloud migration, i.e. the implementation of a programme of support and incentives to facilitate the migration of PA systems, data, and applications to qualified cloud services, i.e. certified by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) on the basis of parameters guaranteeing their reliability.
Local, regional and national authorities are ‘migrating’ to renew their systems: the expected benefits are so pervasive as to be impossible not to recognise.
Cloud and Public Administration: the 4 benefits of the Cloud
For the Public Administration, the cloud is the answer to many needs, including the need to streamline processes and adapt the IT infrastructure to modern hybrid working dynamics, without compromising either workflows or the quality of services offered to citizens.
On the contrary: the destiny of the Public Administration is to play an increasingly central role in the future. One need only think of the many services that are increasingly provided online, which citizens can also access from home. The expectation is to be able to do this all the time and with an extremely high quality of service.
Enabling the cloud enables the PA to play the central role it has to play in the lives of citizens.
Cloud enablement increases the IT security of the corporate perimeter, as the platform is constantly updated by the provider. Often, public administrations do not have an adequate organisation to fully respond to constant monitoring of vulnerabilities and to react quickly to security incidents. By its very nature, however, the cloud makes the PA more secure by reinforcing data protection and building an evolved system of attack prevention and vulnerability analysis around it.
Through a combination of services and strategies for backing up data, applications and other resources provided by a public cloud system, organisations can set up a disaster recovery plan that speeds up the time it takes to recover data and resume normal PA operations.
Reducing management costs
The main reason why cloud costs reduce PA spending is that they are predictable. The two main methods involve either a pay-per-use payment, where organisations pay only for actual consumption, or a monthly or annual fee (also known as ‘pay as you go’), which also includes any upgrades.
More efficient workflows
Cloud and public administration also go hand in hand because the cloud allows people to securely connect to corporate resources, anytime and from anywhere. This streamlines processes and, above all, simplifies workflows, optimising activities and facilitating collaboration between all staff members through real-time communication, even remotely.
Cloud and Public Administration: only qualified cloud service providers
In relation to the more stringent regulations that the Public Administration must comply with and the important role it plays in the lives of citizens, it has been stipulated that PAs can compulsorily purchase cloud services from AgID-certified operators through the dedicated marketplace, which describes the technical characteristics of the service offered and the costs.
The so-called ‘cloud model for PA’, in fact, identifies a series of principles that must be respected, including:
– the interoperability of services
– the reduction of the risk of ‘lock-in
– the improvement of service levels, accessibility, usability and security.
Cloud services for PA, therefore, have passed evaluation tests: Public Administrations can adopt them with the guarantee of reliability and scalability.
Cloud and Public Administration: the PNRR intervention
The NRP has intervened on the relationship between cloud and Public Administration to establish the data and services that PAs will have to migrate. Not all services are the same, however, so it was necessary to identify the ordinary ones, the critical ones and, even more so, the strategic ones, which if compromised could impact national security.
It follows that the intervention of the NRP is aimed at a pervasive digital transformation of the PA by means of the cloud. The goal is to reach at least 75 per cent adoption by 2025. A ‘cloud first’ approach that redefines strategies and goals for the new Public Administration, which must meet increasingly high expectations and do so with a resilient and scalable infrastructure.