The Put up Popularity of enterprise Scandal: Drawing parallels between Horizon and the UK cloud market

With the ongoing fallout from the Put up Popularity of enterprise scandal, questions are being requested about whether or no longer the UK authorities appears to be role to repeat the mistakes of the past in step with its reliance on the cloud applied sciences of quite a bit of essential US hyperscalers

Nicky  Stewart


Published: 08 Feb 2024

Fujitsu’s resolution to conclude bidding on public sector contracts till the conclusion of the final public inquiry into the Put up Popularity of enterprise Horizon IT scandal, wherein the Jap dealer is implicated, is the steady factor for the firm to realize. Nonetheless it doesn’t absolve the agency in any methodology, and there are quiet many unanswered questions that Fujitsu wants to handle. 

Paul Patterson, the European director at Fujitsu, admitted to MPs unbiased no longer too long ago the firm had remotely accessed the Horizon terminals of sub-postmasters, which is one thing that had long been denied by each person responsible.

Dilapidated Fujitsu UK CEO Duncan Tait has even since admitted that he described Horizon as “Castle Knox” to the then Put up Popularity of enterprise boss, Paula Vennells, which begs the interrogate: how might maybe maybe Fujitsu’s reassurances have gone unchallenged for see you later? 
There might be comprehensible incredulity that the Fujtisu Horizon tool machine is quiet in use and partly funded by taxpayers. The truth is that, as a country, we remain stuck with Horizon till 2025 – ensuing from it has proven to be too historical, too complex, and too bespoke to transfer to the cloud. 
Horizon is a creature of its time, and clearly never built on the originate standards and interoperability that are the mantras for technological different and flexibility at the present time.  

And it is no longer often pleasing – within the wake of the Put up Popularity of enterprise scandal – that folks are asking questions about Fujitsu and why it stays a “strategic dealer to authorities” – and one of an elite few that might maybe boast mountainous annual revenues as a outcomes of its dealings with the UK authorities.
The causes for Fujitsu’s ongoing success within the final public sector market are complex. Many contracting authorities are locked into proprietary technology worship Horizon that can no longer be modernised, for one factor. 

No matter a concerted effort to strengthen its commercial and technical talents, the authorities doesn’t but have the total resources it wants to transfer away from its outdated programs – or to modernise and reform its offer deplorable.  
Govt role out on its jog to the cloud with optimism bigger than a decade ago, pondering cloud often is the silver bullet that might maybe maybe originate it from the grip of companies worship Fujitsu. Cloud would be consumed as a commodity and cloud suppliers jettisoned on a whim.  
If truth be told, the reverse has proven to be the case. Many cloud platforms half about a of Horizon’s traits. Critically proprietary technology (that as soon as coupled with exit penalties) can lock clients into the platform in perpetuity. Ironically, the cloud platform the Put up Popularity of enterprise tried and failed emigrate Horizon to used to be the form of proprietary platforms.  
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is at show camouflage investigating the impact of cloud supplier lock-in, be that thru proprietary technology, exit penalties, reductions in step with duration of time/volume commitments or unfair tool licensing practices.

No matter the CMA investigation, two of the world’s essential cloud vendors, Microsoft and Amazon, are deemed “strategic suppliers to authorities”. Between them, both companies have accrued public sector cloud info superhighway hosting contract spend to the tune of billions of kilos. None of this industry has been competed.  
The rep consequence’s a cloud monoculture made up of Microsoft and Amazon, that methodology well-known of the nation’s most excessive and sensitive info now resides on their platforms. Quite a bit of the financial excellent thing about the authorities’s ever-rising cloud spend will roam off-shore – to the detriment of the UK’s hold cloud info superhighway hosting alternate.

Above all, the monoculture also amounts to a single point of failure that might maybe have catastrophic consequences if subjected to a critical cyber or physical attack. 
Here’s no longer a name to the Luddites to reach again out and rupture up the looms. We need cloud. We need its agility and scale on this ever more info-pushed world.  
Govt mostly made a mess of procuring for its legacy programs and its making a mess of procuring for cloud. Here’s a plea to the authorities to no longer repeat the mistakes of the past. 

It wants to make sure its info-pushed digital markets are resilient, vivid, various and competitive and it wants to make certain its officers are successfully equipped to toughen this form of market. Because the subsequent sparkling unique factor on the horizon is synthetic intelligence (AI). 

No dealer must quiet ever be allowed to have a monopoly on AI in any sector. The chance of an unaccountable AI turning into the subsequent Horizon, with its lies, quilt-united states of americaand destruction of lives and livelihoods, is shocking.  

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