By Dante Ricci, Global Public Sector and Future marketing lead, SAP
The public sector is rapidly moving to the cloud – spurred on by the pandemic, rising demand for digital services, and a need for government employees to work from home, according to Renae Rowland, Global Public Sector Lead at DXC Technology.
The cloud has long been an option for the public sector, as it has watched the majority of the private sector utilize the benefits of the cloud to grow faster and better service customers.
Yet, concerns around security and privacy were pervasive.
Citizen data sovereignty is a chief concern with moving to the cloud for the public sector – but the benefits far outweigh the cost. That isn’t to say that citizen data sovereignty goes out the window. Quite the opposite: cloud technology solutions offer privacy-management and control levels. The public sector just needs to find the right ones, and the right partner to implement it.
What are those benefits that outweigh the cost of solving for citizen data sovereignty in the cloud? There are four.
Putting the Citizen at the Center
In the same way technology and e-commerce companies have improved the user experience for customers and prospects, and grown their revenue as a result, the public sector is looking to do the same. This means reimagining and re-envisioning how citizens use government services, how that usage is changing, and how the public sector can create digital experiences that better solve the citizen’s needs.
Using Data as an Asset
Solving properly for citizen data sovereignty doesn’t have to be a lose-lose situation. The public sector can both privatize and protect citizens’ data and also use that data to provide better services, and improve outcomes for citizens and government employees alike.
Beyond providing for better citizen experiences, using data as an asset can make public sector organizations far more efficient. Abhijit Umbarkar, CEO at TSC, recently won an SAP innovation award for his work on a machine learning solution that was jointly built with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That work was aimed primarily at making the Commonwealth more efficient with its spending of the citizen’s tax dollar.
Enabling the Public Sector Workforce
As the world went into lockdown, governments couldn’t just shut down. They were still providing critical services to citizens and had to find a way to keep working. Government employees went remote, and public sector agencies needed to adapt quickly to the new work environment, including the need for remote collaboration software. That software, however, often lives in the cloud. To provide proper services and allow employees to do their jobs, the public sector needed to make a swift digital transformation into the cloud.
Providing Better Services – For Everyone
Just as government employees were needing to lean more heavily on the cloud in a remote environment, the demand for digital services by citizens skyrocketed. With citizens also at home, they needed access to regular government functions, paperwork and a variety of activities that just weren’t available digitally.
The quick need for a public sector pivot wasn’t just about providing the exact same services within the cloud, but instead, about how those services could be improved. After all, no digital transformation is only about modernizing the tech stack of an organization. It is far more about rethinking decades-old processes and the user experience to provide value across the entire organization.
Digital transformation complexity has long prevented the public sector from being able to service citizens better and respond faster. The pandemic sped up this industry’s usage of the cloud, enabling teams around the world to improve their digital infrastructure.
This move to the cloud is inevitable, and necessary. And it is only the first of many digital transformations to come. After the cloud, AI and IOT will be adopted at a higher rate by the public sector, too – optimizing operations and further improving the services citizen tax dollars buy.
Public sector organizations need a foundational cloud migration strategy, ASAP. Start small, and build up.
For more information and inspiration, watch SAP Industry Live’s Public Sector webinar to learn how your organizations can use the cloud and intelligent technologies to help you meet your mission.