Budget Concerns Needn’t be a Roadblock to Government Agencies Adopting aaS

A little vision can go a long way. When looking at adopting consumption (cloud) services, start with painting a picture of what the desired future looks like.

Delivering better public services with tight financial constraints, exploiting emerging technologies and unlocking the value of information – three key objectives that play to the New Zealand Government’s 10 priority areas. It’s likely you’re already looking at how technology can help achieve these ideal states.

When it comes to enabling government to deliver results, the benefits of using cloud-based services can’t be ignored. Reshaping your operating model around ‘as a service’ (aaS) can enable your organisation to become more flexible, agile, cost effective, secure, reliable, productive and insightful.

But there are challenges to adoption which are coming up in our conversations with agencies regularly. It’s worth unpicking the three most common ones a bit, as they can be addressed.

What are the real barriers to adoption?

What’s really getting in the way of agencies adopting aaS? One, or all of these three issues might have something to do with it:

  • Not pressing enough to find the budget: Unless there’s a pressing reason to move there simply isn’t budget or impetus to make the transition. The Christchurch earthquakes highlighted a very real need for government to continue without disruption during a disaster. Making a case for budget to pay for essential business continuity is more likely to be successful as not having an adequate service is high on the risk scale.
  • Net present value (NPV) returns don’t seem to stack up: NPV is just one measure that needs consideration. No single metric can make or break an investment case. Moving to as-a-Service will require investment up front so it’s important to carefully consider the other long term benefits such as business agility and improved collaboration and customer experience by leveraging cloud technologies.  
  • No immediate reduction in total expenditure: It can be difficult to move the conversation away from, “how much capital and operational expense can we cut with as-a-Service?” and toward “how will consumption services help us exploit emerging technologies and deliver better public service?” By offering both cost savings and greater business value – aaS allows the agency to focus on its core activities rather than service IT – it is possible to tick both boxes. As-a-Service solutions don’t require the same ongoing resourcing as legacy systems.  

A little vision can go a long way

In our view the root cause of the biggest challenges to adoption is that the conversations about how to employ technology to drive greater efficiency within government often don’t go far enough because of concerns about budget. So who better to start a conversation with than your budget caretaker – the CFO? CFOs are often closer to the CEO and can help build a solid business case including NPV and other indicators of payback, to demonstrate the bigger picture behind the investment decision.

When building the business case for a transition to as-a-Service, start with painting a picture of what the desired future looks like. A well-articulated vision and robust roadmap can demonstrate how agency executives are able to take advantage of the features of consumption services to improve customer experiences, save money, simplify IT and drive efficiency and productivity.

Adopting as-a-Service opens the door to being able to achieve the government’s goals and enables your agency to show leadership, deliver improved public services and more effectively engage the community.

As further background on the topic of consumption services, you might be interested in the following e-book: Boost your Agility, Capability and Cost Effectiveness – Travel Advice for your Journey into as-a-Service.


To discuss the topic further, please get in touch with the author, Paul Gordon, on 021 178 190.


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