What OGCIO's Cloud Computing Advice Note means for Ireland's Public Sector Bodies

What is the Cloud Computing Advice Note?

Published in October, the Cloud Computing Advice Note aims to provide high-level guidance to assist Irish Public Sector organisations in making decisions in relation to the adoption of Cloud services. The new advice note recognises that the world of Cloud computing, as well as the policy and legislative environments, has developed rapidly since the “Considering Cloud Services” note was published in December 2015.

The note was developed by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in conjunction with the ICT Advisory Board and with input also from the wider public service ICT community. It incorporates input from a public consultation that took place towards the end of 2018 which afforded industry, academia and members of the public to input their views. Concerns of CIOs within the Irish Public Sector included a reluctance to store personal data and potential security breaches within the Public Cloud, with these two factors playing a key part in the limited adoption of Cloud services.

Within the Cloud Computing Advice Note, the Irish Government has now acknowledged that Cloud computing services should be considered potentially suitable for any category of public service information or system except where such data would be classified as ‘top secret’.

Consequently, the Irish Government believes that it is an opportune time for a more proactive and progressive approach to embracing Cloud computing.

What does this mean for my organisation?

The publication of the Cloud Computing Advice Note indicates that all public sector organisations should be migrating their systems, where practical, to government or public/mixed Cloud environments.

At a macro level, all Irish public sector organisations should take a “Cloud first” approach for all new systems. If a system is deemed not suitable for Public Cloud, a hybrid or private government Cloud model should be considered. Organisations should also recognise that a Cloud-first approach does not mean a Cloud-only approach. A move to Cloud services of whatever type is inevitable for many applications or solutions, whether by choice of the organisation or enforced by solution providers.

All new government systems should be developed to exploit the opportunities presented by Cloud deployment, where possible, and all existing systems reviewed for Cloud capability. This will happen over time and where practicable.

Moving to Cloud

The note further highlights that organisations should no longer decide on whether to move to Cloud for new or existing systems. If a system is deemed not suitable for Public Cloud a hybrid or private government Cloud model should be considered.

The decision to be made now is what, how and when to move to Cloud and which particular systems are suitable for Cloud.

What should my organisation be doing?

Evaluate and Repeat

Cloud Strategy

Put in place or update your own local Cloud strategies, plans and policies


Implement an approach to management and governance of your Cloud environment

Expert Advice

Become familiar with Cloud offerings and seek expert advice if you have no Cloud experience

Pilot & Iterate

Pilots should be used in the context of GOVCIO and other Irish Public Sector legislatives

Delivery Models

Organisations will use cloud service models according to their requirements. Potential options include:

Private Government Cloud
This infrastructure is designed and configured for exclusive use by users from government organisations.
Public Cloud
A Public Cloud infrastructure is designed and configured for open use by the general public and exists on the premises of the cloud provider.
Public Cloud over Private Network
In this model, the Public Cloud infrastructure is used but accessed over a private network/dedicated communication link.
A hybrid approach uses services both from Public Cloud providers as well as an on premise Government Managed Private Cloud.

How can Version 1 help?

Our expertise is more than ‘just Cloud’. Version 1’s capabilities go beyond our platform expertise, with our deep understanding and experience in the application and data technologies and workloads that sit on Cloud platforms. We are system integrators with expertise across the full stack. We have over 20 years’ experience implementing, managing and improving mission-critical applications for customers across all sectors. From legacy applications, to custom-built solutions to commercial off-the-shelf packages, Version 1 has the Cloud Application Migration expertise to help define a viable path to cloud for your enterprise applications and data.

Is Your Public Sector Organisation Ready for Cloud?

Webinar – Becoming ‘Cloud First’: Strategies for Cloud Adoption in the Irish Public Sector

In response to the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer’s (OGCIO) Cloud Computing Advice Note, Version 1 is running an insightful webinar on how public sector organisations can adopt a Cloud-First approach.

In this webinar, Ronan Laffan, Head of Advisory Services, will discuss the key technical and business challenges encountered and how these can be resolved or mitigated using Version 1 specialist, best-practice approaches which have been validated in the UK Public Sector.

View Webinar

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