Public cloud options now offer the scalability, computing power, storage and security to better enable digital government platforms and meet rising expectations for performance and value, according to Gartner.
While security concerns have often been cited as a deterrent of cloud deployment, Gartner has now predicted that security will displace savings and agility as the primary driver for government agencies to move to public cloud.
“Many cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, invest heavily in incorporating higher levels of security into their products to continue building confidence that their data is more secure,” said Neville Cannon, research director at Gartner. “Many of these providers can invest more than what most nations could afford, let alone the average government agency.”
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Hindrances do remain as nationalism and concerns about data sovereignty slow benefit realisation. But cost savings and agility are maintained as subsidiary drivers in the belief that data is more secure when retained within government jurisdictions, Gartner said.
The analyst firm advised public sector CIOs to look to use public cloud for hosting both public and low-to-medium levels of sensitive data.
While adoption will definitely start to accelerate, Gartner said, the pace will depend on appropriate analysis of the risks involved, the provider’s capabilities, and the technologies chosen to protect the data.
Meanwhile, Gartner has also predicted that more than half of the Tier 1 support services at government contact centres will be provided by virtual personal assistants by 2018.
To improve efficiency and optimise business outcomes, government agencies are experimenting with smart machine technologies, such as virtual assistants, to deliver frontline services.
“Advances in cognitive learning and natural-language processing technologies have reached the stage of commercial viability that government CIOs can factor them into technology roadmaps,” said Rick Howard, research director at Gartner.
Deploying virtual personal assistants to conduct lower-level business functions, such as Tier 1 support services or claims resolution, sets the stage for the government workforce to shift to more value-added activities, such as case management and programme evaluation.
Gartner has therefore advised government CIOs to work with programme managers to develop business use cases for various smart machine technologies, and then construct scenarios for achieving the desired business results.
It has also predicted that more than a quarter of government agencies will adopt ‘BYO algo’ policies by 2018, to boost workforce-led innovation.
It said the growing availability of self-service data discovery and business intelligence/analytic tools, as well as the creation of a “consumerised” digital work environment, will drive government agencies to actively seek the talent of workers who are encouraged to bring their proprietary intellectual property to work.
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Next-generation (smart) data discovery tools and capabilities make insights from advanced analytics more accessible to business users or citizen data scientists.
Gartner believes the performance of government workers and organisations will be determined by the methodologies and algorithms they uniquely employ to turn data into actions that increase efficiency and effectiveness.
“The formulation and adoption of BYO algo policies in government will help address the competitive disadvantage that public-sector employers often face in the quest to recruit top talent,” said Howard. “By doing so, agencies will fully benefit from the talent of employees whose personal success rests on using all the digital tools at their disposal.”