We’re only a few weeks into 2018 and it’s already been a busy time for the public sector, with cabinet reshuffles and talks of a potential second EU referendum dominating the news agenda.
It's set to be a significant year for the tech players supporting governments, too, with the introduction of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) also playing centre stage in just a few months' time. So what should we expect this year from the public sector?
Here are my three predictions for 2018:
1. Governments will realise the value of big data and analytics
With the powerful, intelligent and intuitive data analytics platforms available today, governments and local authorities are now beginning to drive value from the aggregation of data. Councils are harnessing citizen data to track anonymised movements to inform strategic decisions like city planning, as well as using chatbots and apps to deliver critical services. The Internet of Things will continue to rise in prevalence, with technologies such as smart litter bins and connected infrastructure enabling council staff to work smarter and more efficiently by delivering services when and when they're required - not just because it's 'bin day', for example.
2. Cyber-security will remain front of mind
From the deployment of 'ethical hackers' to a continued focus on education campaigns and awareness-raising, the government, local authorities and devolved administrations are all acutely aware of the importance of data protection. With the incoming GDPR legislation, governments must place a razor-sharp focus on safeguarding their 'data house' and certifying that it meets new regulation. They must ensure they have a full view of all their data, platforms and information, to safeguard citizen data from getting into the wrong hands.
3. The growth of managed services
Managing legacy systems and hybrid cloud models to deliver in today's 'Netflix' age is no mean feat. Combine that with budget consolidation, changing citizen requirements and a growing IT skills gap - and the sector has a tough job. However, leaders shouldn't try and tackle this alone. By working with expert service providers, these issues can be outsourced - reducing costs and placing the skills onus on the partner. With government budgets being squeezed, ensuring service delivery can be maintained - and even improved - to meet today's digital-first citizens is a significant challenge. At CenturyLink, we have the technology, skills and public sector experience to support you with this - allowing leaders to concentrate on the task in hand - meeting the ever-increasing and changing citizen demands.
To find about how CenturyLink can help you with your technology and innovation in 2018, get in touch here.