The government is set to look to the cloud in 2011 according to a new report from Ovum. The research and analysis company said that cloud computing and business process outsourcing (BPO) would both be increasingly used to drive efficiencies in central government IT.

Ovum said that, following the big cuts in public sector expenditure, government organisations will be looking to make savings across the board when it comes to IT and cloud will be seen as an attractive option.

Jessica Hawkins, Ovum analyst and author of the report, said: "We expect to see consumption-based and shared delivery models gaining momentum in 2011, as agencies become more open to the efficiencies that a cloud-based approach can offer. However issues of privacy and security will mean some governments will remain cautious.

However, she warned, public sector agencies should look beyond cost-cutting and implement changes that would drive greater efficiencies. She said they "should push beyond knee-jerk cost-cutting measures and adopt a long-term vision of how fundamental changes to the way they deliver services will bring efficiency."

And vendors should be prepared for these changes too, she said, adding that, "many (government bodies) will look to their IT vendor to guide them through the new technologies that can help them achieve this and vendors should be ready to do this."