Cisco's latest annual CloudWatch report indicates that the government's use of cloud computing still lags behind other sectors, with Ian Foddering, Cisco's CTO for UK & Ireland, commenting that it is 'surprising' that its use isn't higher given the introduction of the G-Cloud in 2012.

The government has been pushing the use of cloud in the public sector in recent months with the launch of Cloudstore in February, which saw 257 suppliers signed up to the G-Cloud framework, offering 1,700 cloud services to the public sector, and catalogued within an online portal. The government has since revealed details of the second iteration of its G-Cloud framework, which will run for 12 months and is worth £100 million.

The latest figures from Cisco's CloudWatch report highlight the reluctance from government to put cloud at the core of the IT agenda. Between 70 percent and 78 percent of respondents for retail, finance and service providers indicated that cloud was either a 'significant' or 'critical' part of the IT agenda, while government lags behind at 60 percent.

"I think the results potentially point to a difference of opinion between the people setting the IT strategy [in government] and the people that are currently looking to implement some of the strategy," Foddering explained to Computerworld UK.

He added: "The move to G-Cloud is about the benefits of reducing costs, easier maintenance and driving better control of the cost - but I accept that it's somewhat surprising that the cloud capability in the public sector isn't higher."

"There is going to be a natural delay just because of the sheer size, scale and legacy."

However, the report also indicates that even though government is still a laggard when compared to other sectors, its uptake of cloud in the past 12 months has improved somewhat. Cisco found that the average proportion of IT applications and services in the cloud in 2011 in government was just five percent, which was two percent below the average across all sectors.

In 2012 the average proportion of IT applications and services in the cloud jumped to 28 percent, a 23 percent increase in 12 months. However, this was still below the industry average of 31 percent.

"It's absolutely gone up, we are seeing that shift. It's not as big as the others, but it's absolutely happening," said Foddering.

"I think it's a cultural thing within government, but if we look ahead two years to 2014, it starts to balance itself out - government is likely to have 52 percent of applications and services in the cloud, which is average across all the sectors."