Digital transformation, crisis recovery and data standardisation were important themes discussed at the Government ICT Virtual Summit on 21st January.
Pro2col’s Ailsa Gibbs considers these against Gartner advice, and offers pragmatic solutions to some seemingly insurmountable challenges. This information from Gartner comes from the Government Digital Transformation and Innovation Primer for 2021, which was published on 5th January this year.
“Data is at the heart of the digital transformation of government.” Gartner
This was the overarching message of the presentations during the Government ICT Virtual Summit. As an attendee, I found it particularly helpful to get such a wide range of perspectives on the challenges surrounding data usage and the modernisation of government infrastructure to enable new ways of working.
“Communities in crisis, or recovering from crisis, expect their governments to be agile, proactive, connected, informed and outcome focused.” Gartner, Government Digital Transformation and Innovation Primer for 2021, 5 Jan 2021
There were several examples of this agile approach over the course of the day, from the DVLA enabling quick access to data for approving grants, to the changes at the DWP to get staff working from home. Clearly the planned digital transformation agenda for 2020 adapted to address the urgent need to enable remote working and digital delivery of services. This year’s digital transformation agenda therefore starts from a place where “the digital, business and social ecosystems in which governments operate are looking to the government to share and facilitate the movement of data to help drive their recovery.” This will require a continued focus on data sharing, legacy modernisation and enabling staff to deliver services from wherever they are.
Data standardisation was a theme that linked many of the presentations as the ultimate solution for simplifying data sharing across departments and silos. This is a mammoth task. In the meantime, pragmatic solutions will be required to classify and govern data sharing so that the right information is shared with the right departments and systems. Unstructured data in particular will need to be assessed and granular tags applied to enable accurate file sharing; much more useful than just marking it as confidential. As outlined in the opening remarks, these conditions for success will enable data sharing around a common purpose with urgency and accountability.
“CIOs are still tackling the challenges associated with managing largely untapped content and data, identifying and managing new data sources, and improving data quality.” Gartner
In addition to data standardisation, accountability and governance was a common theme. We heard examples including tracking what information is being shared and why, auditing to ensure legal compliance and to raise public confidence, and even clinical protection. The benefits of being able to share data today – securely and strategically – were best demonstrated by Mark Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer at NHS Digital in his presentation on the Shielded Patient list. The more we know, the more targeted help we can provide.
Our own experience of working with government clients in recent months includes; projects to secure transfers of genome data between network zones and partners, local councils moving data between schools and partners, automating and securing the data transfers from councils to central government for juror selection, housing associations receiving data from DWP, NHS units consolidating legacy systems and migrating to cloud and more.
File transfer plays a key role in enabling data sharing and acts as the stepping stone between the future cloud first strategy and the reality of today’s legacy systems.
Pro2col provide a free comparison service with an independent assessment of the best secure managed file transfer solution for your organisation. Answer a series of questions and our technical experts will match your security, compliance, automation and integration requirements against the leading products on the market. It’s what we do every day so we can help to cut through the noise, shortcut the process and get to the right decision with more accuracy.
After 20 years with BT supporting enterprise customers with a huge range of challenges, I have spent the last 10 years loving being a specialist. I spend my day helping customers identify the best solution for their data sharing needs, with an increasing focus on data security and automation, ensuring it will grow with them over time and working with existing customers to maximise the effectiveness of their current solutions. In the last year, we have seen a move from linking to cloud based platforms to full solutions in the cloud. increased security requirements around file sharing and a drive to reduce the costs of legacy systems. And if I am not talking to customers about their data, I am supporting two teenage daughters with the joy of home learning and like so many of us right now, sometimes both at the same time!