One of the UK’s largest charities, Cancer Research, is in the process of developing a comprehensive public cloud strategy for bursts in capacity on public facing websites, but was concerned that it still needs to convince its internal security staff that it’s viable.

Jane Swindle, information systems (IS) manager at the charity, spoke to Computerworld UK about its imminent plans to put select infrastructure into the cloud.

“We are always interested in things that could potentially save us money. One big area of interest for us is infrastructure that we could either burst out or actually run from the public cloud,” said Swindle.

She added: “So some of our public facing websites we host in a traditional environment and with this comes all sorts of costs. We could reduce these considerably if we were to run them ourselves, but on someone else’s infrastructure.”

“If we did this, we wouldn’t have the problem that we currently have where we have to contract infrastructure for peaks in demand. We want to move to a pay-as-you-go model.”

Swindle hopes to deploy such a solution for the Race to Life campaign, which has a race season once a year and then lies dormant for the remaining months.


Cancer Research needs to maintain a holding presence. "But, by using the public cloud it wouldn’t have peak infrastructure just sitting there,” she said.

Cancer Research’s infrastructure development team is currently looking at the options in the market, where it will be considering players with a "large presence", and hopes to have a final strategy by the end of the year. Swindle said the charity will move “swiftly” after that to make the move.

However, ICT security staff may prove a sticking point for the team’s plans, as Swindle admits that they aren’t entirely convinced of the move just yet.

“I think the biggest challenge is going to be our internal audit security people. Convincing them that it’s the right thing to do and that all the security measures we need to put in place have been done correctly. People on that side of things don’t seem to be moving as fast as the technology,” said Swindle.

“I think in terms of functionality, there is always a technology solution out there. The problem is getting the security people to a place where they are happy for you to go and do it.”