1. Lots of people seem to have a slightly different definition of what cloud is. How does SCC define cloud?
SCC use the NIST definition of cloud computing. Although originating in the US, the UK government also uses it, and it seems like it’s becoming a defacto standard. However when you shop around make sure the supplier you’re looking at is using it too, otherwise you’ll be comparing apples with pears.
2. Can you simply explain what these IL0, IL3 security levels mean?
Officially, there’s a great 144 page bedtime read which defines them – here.
However the G-Cloud program have done a headline summary blog article.
Basically IL0 is public info, like on the internet. IL3 is ok to handle ‘Restricted’ data, as defined by the government
3. Do I need to care about my data being overseas? Surely if it’s in Europe, covered by EU laws it’s safe?
Yes, and no. If your data is not in the UK, it won’t be covered by UK data protection laws. If it’s in the US, there’s a thing called The Patriot Act, which lets the US government have unrestricted access to your data without even telling you. If it’s in the EU it’s covered by EU laws which are pretty much like UK law – so no need to worry right? Wrong!
The Patriot Act applies to US companies wherever they are in the world. So if your data is in Amsterdam, but hosted by a US owned company, it’s still not safe.
Of course, SCC is a UK owned company, with data centres only in the UK. So that one thing less to worry about, eh?
4. Why are you producing a cloud solution just for public sector?
Having worked with public sector organisations for 36 years we understand many of their needs. Yes, many are the same as any commercial organisation, and so using commercial solutions makes sense, but also some are quite unique. Hence we’re making sure our cloud offering doesn’t mean public sector organsiations have to compromise. They can still get economies of scale, like in the world of cloud offerings for commerical organisations. However, we will maintain the special security levels and networks needed to work in the public sector.
5. Only part of my data needs IL3 security. Do I need to pay for it all at IL3 prices?
No. We can offer solutions ranging from IL0 to IL3, and of course our IL0 solutions are cheaper than our IL3, so you’ll gain by having a hybrid solution.
6. What are my options if the software service I’d really like to use in the cloud isn’t listed?
Contact us.We’re adding new software applications all the time. Yours might be next on our list. And obviously, the more people we hear asking for something, the faster we’ll try to implement that solution.
If you’re a software vendor and think your application, when put in the cloud, would be beneficial to public sector organsiations, use the ISV sign up section and we’ll get back to you.
7. I’m not 100% sure about what to do. How can you help me?
Unlike some of the other cloud suppliers, we have real people who you can talk to. We’ll do as little, or as much as you like. It’s up to you. From a quick chat clarifying the detail of a service, to full blown consultancy and implementation of a solution to help you with a problem.
8. I’ve only got a small pilot project to begin with. Is it worth bothering looking at putting it in the cloud?
Yes. Optimise Cloud SMTC is perfect. You only need to pay for a month at a time. Just pay for what you use. You can scale up or down at any time. If the pilot doesn’t work out, stop and you’re not left with unused equipment. If it does work and you need to grow huge – no problem, just scale it up.
9. How easy is it to get my data security audited? I might need the National Audit Office to ratify my project.
We’re here in the UK, so it’s dead easy for any auditor to work with us, and even physically see where the data lives.
10. Why should I trust SCC?
We’re Europe’s largest independant IT group, working with the UK public sector for 36 years. Plus we’re a UK company, based here in the UK, and we even pay UK taxes!
11. I know SCC for selling PCs and other IT equipment. Why are you offering cloud solutions?
We believe cloud solutions can really help public sector organisations to transform they way they use IT, usually at a lower cost, and often enabling better, more up-to-date solutions that organsiations are expected to deliver i nthe 21st century.
12. I’m part of the IT team. Won’t my organisation needs less of us if everything moves to the cloud? What’s in it for me?
Not really. That’s not the idea. It might mean you have to do less boring system admin, but that means it’ll give you time to do more valuable things like the design of a new service. Having cloud experience is a sought after skill. I’m sure you’ll want to keep up-to-date with the latest ways of working in IT, right?
13. I’m in the IT team. The finance people say we have little or no budget. How can you help me convince them and get the go-ahead for my new project?
Cloud computing os generally lower cost that doing-it-yourself, having to buy large servers out of scarce capital budget. If you use cloud, it’s a service, so you use operational budget. Plus you only pay for what you need. Your finance manager will like that!
14. What networks are SCC connected to?
Of course, the internet, but more usefully for public sector organsiations, specific government networks like GSi & PSN. Talk to us if you have a specific requirement.
15. How do I know you know what you’re talking about?
SCC were a member of the governments G-Cloud advisory board. We helped them develop policy, so we sort of know rather quite a lot
16. How do I know your services will be reliable?
We have a brand new, purpose built data centre, and you can even specify level of reliability you need. Things like a failover option to our second data centre is available too, to give you even greater reliability. You decide what service level you need.
17. Problems downloading PDFs?
If you get a “There is a problem with Adobe Acrobat/Reader. If it running please exit and try again. (1014:1014)” error it means the plug-in was not able to start up Reader (or Acrobat depending on which you have). To combat this rare issue with certain Adobe and Internet Explorer versions please do the following – Open Adobe Reader -> choose Edit -> Preferences -> Internet -> uncheck the “Display PDF in browser” option. This will open the PDF in Adobe instead of your browser.