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D2.2 Research Procurement Case Studies

Digital transformation is absolutely crucial to any organisation whether public or private. It is at the very core of the digital single market, in order to ensure Europe reaps the socio-economic benefits of new technologies. Cloud computing has the potential to reduce IT expenditure and to boost organisational agility while at the same time expanding the scope for the delivery of flexible high-quality new services.
Barriers to the adoption of cloud services range, shifting to new procurement processes matching the cloud’s on-demand model, to lack of trust & security, and finally from lack of mature technical standards to complex legal terms and fear of vendor lock-in. Overcoming these barriers is key to boosting public sector productivity and efficiency, and to meet the demands of a new set of users in a way that ensures secure and reliable and compliance with institutional requirements.
This document describes a set of case studies documenting how public sector organisations worldwide have either carried out a process to procure cloud services, or are considering doing so. The experiences vary in term of success and offer insights into how the procurement of cloud services is impacting their current processes.
Thirteen case studies are included; nine describe the experience of public sector organisations, which have procured different types of cloud services for different amounts of money; four others report the considerations of organisations that considering cloud procurement.
The procurement experiences described in these case studies showcase that even if almost all of the organisations have the same procurement procedures, cloud procurement can be approached in many different ways. This is mainly due to different maturity levels with respect to cloud adoption in these organisations. However, as a common factor, almost all the organisations share the same challenges and agree on what would be the actions needed to quicken the cloud procurement process.
Among the key lessons learned from the case studies are the following:
Ø Having the right skill set is fundamental for managing a successful procurement process;
Ø Legal aspects and Data Processor Agreements are fundamental for public entities to procure;
Ø Exit strategies when moving to the cloud should be carefully defined to avoid vendor lock-in;
Ø Writing an effective tender is of paramount importance: when writing tender specifications it is recommended to have some pre-discussions with potential providers to better understand the solutions they can offer;
Ø Standard and well-defined specifications work best;
Ø Marketing the tender is the first step to ensure that at least the minimum number of responses are received;
Ø Joint procurement actions can reduce the cost of developing specifications & contracts and to improve purchasing conditions due to combined capacity;
In addition, at least five wishes shared by all the procurers emerge from the case studies:

  1. More transparency in cataloguing services;
  2. Catalogues of cloud service providers available for procurers’ consultation;
  3. A standalone test that could be used to verify the suitability of the services offered by the suppliers;
  4. Sample templates and guiding graphs to write public tenders;
  5. Accounting of cloud resources and comparing costs supported by standards.

The outcomes of the case studies analysis is fundamental to the analysis of the cloud service procurement best practices performed in D3.2 and feeds the PICSE Roadmap on Cloud Service Procurement for public research organisations (D2.3).

Download the deliverable here.