Cloud First


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The role of the Cloud First programme is to encourage and support public sector bodies towards using cloud services and realise the benefits of cloud computing. The programme focusses on sharing both information and knowledge, which organisations can use when designing services in cloud.

There is great demand across the public sector for cloud services and organisations are already using a variety of platforms. We aim to influence organisations from a position of knowledge and to promote best practice across the public sector. The Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) and a Cloud Community has been established across the public sector to enable this.


  • establish and manage a cloud computing knowledge base and repository
  • support public sector bodies towards using cloud services, realising the benefits of cloud in delivering public services and optimising cloud use and costs
  • bring together public sector bodies to share knowledge to promote best practice and prevent the duplication of work.

Cloud Policy

Cloud is essential to achieving our Digital Ambitions for Scotland.

The use of cloud services can help organisations to:

  • be environmentally sustainable
  • operate efficiently and cost-effectively
  • be flexible and responsive
  • decrease delivery time
  • reduce risk
  • increase resilience
  • strengthen cyber security

Our ‘cloud first’ approach means that public cloud will be the default delivery model for user-focused services.  When introducing new services or updating existing ones, organisations will consider the use of public cloud services first, before other options.

We do not advocate a wholesale migration to cloud.  While public cloud services will be the appropriate choice in most cases, organisations should evaluate alternatives in exceptional circumstances.

The Scottish Government will work with the Scottish public sector to support the delivery of cloud services that meet the Digital Scotland Service Standard.

Get started

You can use the following resources in the way that makes sense for you. However, we recommend you:

  • ensure you understand the Scottish Government's Cloud Policy
  • share our Cloud Primer to establish a baseline understanding of cloud across your organisation
  • follow the Cloud Principles to guide consistent decision making and beneficial behaviours when adopting and using cloud services
  • promote the Benefits of Cloud to help stakeholders understand the many benefits of using pubic cloud services

For organisations who are ready to begin their cloud journey, the Cloud Preparation Plan provides guidance. For information on specific topics such as procurement, refer to the Cloud Framework.


  • Cloud First Team
  • Scottish Government Directorates
  • Scottish Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies
  • Digital Office and Local Authorities
  • Government Digital Service





Telephone: 0300 244 4000


Cloud First
Cloud and Digital Services Division
Area 1H South
Victoria Quay

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