Best practices for cloud-based public services deployment

Ten general guidelines for migrating applications to the cloud, have been enriched with hands on experience gained from the deployment applications to STORM CLOUDS Platform

Over the past years, the term ‘smart cities’ has evolved to denote the cognitive processes combined with the deployment of ICTs, institutional settings for innovation and physical infrastructure, which taken altogether increase the problem-solving capability of a city or a community. The main features of a smart city include applications that connect, manage and optimize data from a complex set of devices, sensors, people and software, creating real-time, context-specific information intelligence and analytics, which aim to transform the urban environment and address its specific needs. Managing such enormous amount of heterogeneous data requires, among others, high storage capacity and performance computing power. For this, the latest developments in Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things are widely deployed in smart cities.

Although the private sector has already taken advantage of Cloud Computing technologies, Public Authorities are lagging behind in the utilisation of them, as they have not realised yet the tremendous potential that Cloud Computing holds to deliver public value by increasing operational efficiency and responding faster to constituent needs.

The selection of the best practices was based on the literature review, which revealed 15 generally accepted guidelines that ensure the successful migration of applications to the cloud. These guidelines have been enriched with hands-on experience gained from a practical exercise, the deployment of Smart City applications to the SCP. The STORM CLOUDS approach, found in each best practice, offers practical knowledge that has been validated in three European Cities. Moreover, it presents the particular features and tools of the STORM CLOUDS Platform (SCP) that could support the implementation of that best practice. In that essence, the SCP and tools can be seen both as a valuable Cloud experimentation environment, as well as, a very useful asset for Public Authorities that aim to deploy their Smart City applications to the cloud.