When Britain’s Houses of Parliament considered moving some of its services into the cloud, ramifications of the U.S. Patriot Act were among the top-of-mind concerns. Until PRISM hit the headlines. Then, security issues went up yet another geopolitical notch.

Joan Miller, Director of Parliamentary ICT, described to the Think G-Cloud 2013 conference how Parliament adopted its “cloud-first” policy.

With Dennis behind the camera, this series of five videos chronicles a process that began with Parliament’s decision to farm out services that had long been held under tight on-site control. From there, Miller’s story  turns to the benefits of cloud ultimately outweighing concerns about security and safety – a process helped along by a team of Microsoft lawyers who managed to convince Joan and company to migrate to the company’s 365 Cloud service.

Cloud projects seem to go hand in hand with mobile deployments. More proof:  about 500 members of Parliament, or MPs as they’re nicknamed, use iPads to review and transmit documents? According to Miller, the switch to e-docs has already resulted in a savings of some 6 million pounds – out of a total yearly print budget of 20 million

In the first video (play above), Joan explains how the Houses of Parliament benefit from a best of breed ICT policy.

Show Notes – Why Best of Breed?

:25 Parliament’s role is “ to be the lawmakers and the scrutineers”

:56 Microsoft lawyers advised Parliament about moving services into its 365 cloud

1:50 Risk of going cloud was tiny compared to the enhancements gained

3:05 PRISM made them re-assess and re-assert that their security issues are indeed covered

In the next video, Miller explains the case for “cloud first”:

Show Notes – Adopting Cloud First?

:25 Major factors to go cloud: flexibility, mobility and security

1:25 Caution initially took hold: “Let’s not be first to do this”

2:13 Need for a community/public cloud that’s also secure

3:19 G-Cloud addressed security and procurement concerns

In video three, Miller covers the cloud benefits achieved to date:

Show Notes – Cloud Benefits

:26 E-mail and office services moving into the cloud near end/beginning of the year

:53 Placing Internet services in the cloud has yielded benefits around DDoS attacks

1:51 Procurement was easy, services are secure, and flexibility and mobility are expanded

For the fourth video in the series, Miller explains how the House of Parliament ICT evaluated the Patriot Act as well as its recent response to PRISM:

Show Notes – Parliament and Risk

:25 Parliament’s role is “ to be the lawmakers and the scrutineers”

:56 Microsoft lawyers advised Parliament about moving services into its 365 cloud

1:50 Risk of going cloud was tiny compared to the enhancements gained

3:05 PRISM made them re-assess and re-assert that their based are indeed covered

In the final video in the series, Miller dishes on the “more than 500” iPads in use by members in the Houses of Parliament:

Show Notes – What We Do With iPad

 :25 500 MPs are on iPads, saving 6 million on their printed paper bill of 20 million pounds per year.

1:05 Electronic documents and a digital parliament