As government agencies grapple with the pressures of tight budgets, cyber threats, skills shortages, and citizen expectations, they can find added value in an effective cloud adoption strategy. Shawn Kingsberry, Vice President and Global Head of Public Sector at Unisys, shares four effective ways for the cloud to drive innovation in the public sector.
Public sector CIOs and their IT teams have strived to make telecommuting efficient and secure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Although the transition to remote working has been abrupt, the ability of agencies to Successfully fulfilling their missions often depended on their platform and cloud services. . The National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) ranks cloud services 3rd on its list of 10 CIO priorities for 2021.
Now that the pandemic is abating, now is the perfect time for government agencies to assess their technology challenges and address IT needs. Cloud-based services offer four distinct advantages to meet the needs of public sector organizations.
1. Cost control
Cost management is an ongoing obligation for government CIOs. With the economic uncertainty ahead, agencies are likely to face shrinking budgets and will have to do more with less. The Wall Street Journal reported tThe United States could see a shortfall of $ 434 billion, according to Moody’s Analytics. On top of that, states will continue to be beset with new mandates, sometimes funded and often unfunded. Either way, they still have to execute the planned strategy as well as the mandates.
While investing in infrastructure and cloud services is big business, the returns are attractive. The cloud reduces license, hardware, labor and maintenance costs and increases productivity. Additionally, software, compliance, and specialist skills are all provided by the vendor.
The public sector’s focus on cybersecurity has grown steadily since the start of the pandemic. The sudden shift to remote working has dramatically expanded the attack surface and created new vulnerabilities, with the home office becoming a new target for hackers. According to Comparitech, U.S. government organizations suffered 79 separate ransomware attacks in 2020, “potentially affecting 71 million people and costing an estimated $ 18.88 billion in downtime and recovery costs.”
Despite significant improvements in the public sector, security remains a ubiquitous priority for several reasons: the continued prevalence of remote workers as potentially vulnerable targets, the lack of cybersecurity skills in the face of huge demand, and the increased prevalence of remote workers. IoT devices as a result of 5G. Yet, according to the NASCIO, nearly half of all US states do not have a dedicated cybersecurity budget line; Most states’ cybersecurity budgets are between 0% and 3% of their overall IT budget, compared to an average of over 10% in the private sector.
Fortunately, the cloud offers many security benefits, including the integration of security and compliance, reducing the total attack surface that corporate security experts must protect, and operating the business. enormous storage and processing power to identify security threats.
Learn more: Why robotic process automation is coming to the cloud
3. Support for workers
Finding highly skilled technology workers is an ongoing challenge for government agencies. Many organizations are understaffed and overworked their employees, leading to burnout and attrition. What’s more, research has shown that the best employees will leave if the digital workplace experience isn’t optimal.
For government to effectively serve the taxpayers who support it, employees need to be supported, and that increasingly means digital workers. Before the pandemic, less than 10% of staff worked remotely. After its onset, more than half of workers, on average, were remote in most states, while a handful of other states saw almost all of their workers removed and therefore had limited access to normal assistance.
A report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor identified his 4 main difficulties in being:
- Do not have a teleworking policy in place,
- Failing to accommodate non-essential employees whose work could not be performed remotely,
- Numerous technological challenges were reported by 83.6% of the heads of state agencies and 47.2% of its employees,
- Insufficient guidance for supervisors on remote team management.
Cloud services provide the ability to support all employees, in the office and remotely, productively and securely, increasing employee productivity and retention.
Learn more: The promise of cloud native: does it rely on deploying cloud solutions in Kubernetes?
4. Citizen satisfaction
The expectations of citizens vis-à-vis the digital experience are constantly growing. Providing an excellent user experience is no longer a “good to have”, it is a requirement. With little exaggeration, it can be said that citizens now expect to interact with government agencies with the same ease and confidence as they do with Netflix. Not surprisingly, they are frequently disappointed because cost pressures and skills shortages prevent governments from investing in improvements. But make no mistake, those who can deliver a better citizen experience will have a demonstrable competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting employees and businesses.
The move to the cloud allows agencies to better focus their attention on citizens, relieving frustration and increasing satisfaction with cost-effective and secure solutions.
As we continue to evolve from the effects of 2020 and settle into the new normal in 2021, government organizations must shift their focus to new and effective ways of carrying out their missions. The use of cloud services will continue to grow beyond the pandemic and can help public sector agencies achieve their goals.