Earlier this year, the government launched its latest Digital Strategy outlining its vision for digital public services in the UK. From the delivery of world-class broadband connectivity to robust cyber-security practices, public clouds and improved digital skills, the government has committed to developing single cross-government platform services – regardless of any departmental divides.
With the goal of securing 25 million GOV.UK Verify users by 2020 and adopting new services onto the GOV.UK Pay and GOV.UK Notify platforms, the IT team certainly has its work cut out.
Today, government departments, local authorities and devolved assemblies are typically trying hard to tackle fragmented IT environments - with legacy, multiple cloud and on-premise systems often acting as too many cooks in a very complex and busy kitchen. Not only is this environment difficult to manage, it's also very costly and potentially puts highly sensitive citizen information at unnecessary risk.
The technology industry is awash with frightening statistics about what the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will mean for organisations, but we have to consider citizens and end-users as key stakeholders in this debate. How can members of the public put their trust in digital government services if it can't ensure the safety of their private information?
The simple answer is they won’t.
So how can the government ensure this doesn't happen? Given that it has set such ambitious goals for public services, building citizen trust in the security of its data is critical.
An underlying method for IT to keep information safe is to ensure you have a consolidated view of your IT infrastructure at any given point in time. With a common mash of disparate, siloed and disconnected systems all operating at once - from public to legacy on premise private clouds operating line of business applications - you'll know this isn't a simple thing to do.
Yet it isn't all doom and gloom. There are tech solutions right now, such as our Cloud Application Manager, that integrates with your existing IT environment - to give you a near real-time overview of your infrastructure be it on premise (VMware) and/or a public cloud platform (AWS, Azure or GCP). Giving control back to IT means you can define how your cloud services are operating at any given time. For example, you're unlikely to require all your applications to be online over the weekend or sized for peak usage, so why have so much resource provisioned for it at that time?
The benefits of this 360 degree view goes beyond visibility. With a broader perspective on your live infrastructure, you can ensure IT only spends exactly the amount required on optimised cloud services - giving vital funds back to the CFO for other critical investments.
As the government embarks on the biggest digital transformation investment of our time, it is crucial that it ensures all projects are fully optimised and efficient – securing data and freeing up revenue to modernise the digital citizen experience across the board.