Cloud is essential if governments are to modernise
Monday, 16 April, 2018
With the right cloud strategy, public sector organisations can become more efficient, resilient and responsive.
Cloud is the heartbeat of the smart city. To embed AI, IoT, machine learning and analytics in public sector processes — and to deliver exceptional citizen experiences — a scalable, flexible, secure cloud platform is essential.
There’s a recognition of the value of cloud to the public sector. Governments at national, state and local levels are keen to modernise and futureproof their technological infrastructure, as existing systems can often be decades old.
Ageing IT infrastructure is not only susceptible to cyber attack and often incapable of delivering the performance and functionality the public sector requires, it’s also difficult and expensive to maintain. Many of those with the skills to update, repair and maintain legacy IT systems are now reaching retirement age — if they haven’t retired already.
Modernisation is an imperative, for five good reasons.
Public sector services must remain active in the event of any incident — be it a case of natural disaster, terrorist attack or any other unforeseen occurrence. On-premises hardware can be a weak link, with physical infrastructure susceptible to damage in the event of any major incident. The cloud delivers the durability and recoverability cities need to bring essential services back online in the event of disaster.
IoT sensors can be used to detect issues, and respond with greater precision and timeliness — as seen with Buenos Aires’ pioneering flood defence system. Machine learning, meanwhile, is capable of mining data insights to predict when and if such an event might occur.
The complexity of legacy public sector IT systems can make modernisation a major challenge. However, by moving to the cloud, governments can significantly reduce the cost and administrative burden of maintaining legacy hardware, and adopt futureproof IT that can scale with their needs.
Moving to the cloud will help to ensure the protection of citizen data in a future that’s both increasingly connected and increasingly under threat. For the public sector, back-office agility will enable front-end innovation, helping deliver exceptional citizen experiences.
In addition, machine learning presents an opportunity for fast, affordable, continuous IT improvement — identifying performance inefficiencies and addressing them without the need for human intervention.
More from less
Governments and public sector organisations must increasingly achieve more with less. Digital transformation through cloud adoption helps to deliver cheaper, more efficient ways to serve the public and keep services running smoothly.
Often, the very processes that save the public sector money also deliver new and improved citizen experiences. For example, a chatbot capable of answering queries about refuse collection, recycling or public transportation would give citizens the answers they need quickly and intuitively, while saving government employees valuable time.
Automating these mundane, repetitive tasks can save a lot of money, and improve workforce efficiency.
To attract businesses, tourists and residents, destinations need to modernise and provide great citizen experiences. To do this, governments at national, state and local levels must embrace digital technologies.
For example, Las Vegas is delivering digital citizen services using Oracle Mobile Application Framework. Citizens and visitors now have a simple, compelling way to interact with the city using their mobile devices, while city employees can experience enhanced productivity and reduced call-centre costs.
Intuitive, reliable, cloud-enabled, self-service apps will help to make public sector interactions quick and easy, while automation will ensure that the needs and concerns of citizens and businesses are addressed as rapidly as possible. Automation also provides the transparency needed to foster trust and accountability between the private sector and government.
For individuals, integrating a new generation of connected citizens with existing processes will allow for personalised engagement and near real-time insights — helping to make countries, states and cities safe, enjoyable places to live and visit. Cloud gives the public sector the opportunity to reduce the cost of engagement — and deliver enhanced constituent experiences.
“For the first time, most consumers have access to better technology than employees from public sector organisations… digital natives are growing less tolerant of ‘old technology’ experiences,” Joel Cherkis, Oracle’s global vice president for infrastructure, government, education and health.
IoT sensors create huge quantities of data. The ability to analyse this data effectively is of enormous value to the public sector. The insights gleaned through data analysis will help governments predict events such as traffic jams, human and IT resource shortages, and natural disaster threats, and anticipate or respond to them in a timely, efficient manner.
The time has come for the public sector to embrace the flexibility, scalability and security of the cloud. The benefits are clear — cloud helps public sector organisations prepare for an uncertain future, become more resilient and cost efficient, and deliver exceptional citizen and business experiences to compete with other geographies.
With the right cloud strategy in place, public sector organisations can face the challenges of tomorrow with confidence.
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