Written by Siobhan Hafferty, Account Director – Public Sector, CenturyLink
CenturyLink - sponsor for the Defence Winter Dinner
The government has made considerable strides in its IT strategy, services and delivery in recent years. From starting in a costly world in which departments led and managed IT processes themselves, we then moved into an era of outsourcing, with large-scale contracts commissioned with systems integrators and other IT vendors - to varying success.
Today, we’re at a cross-roads. In the current political and economic climate, the public sector has to think carefully about every investment it makes – ensuring it can demonstrate a clear return on investment on all outgoings. This is why the culture of long-term outsourced projects, in which departments are ‘locked-in’ to fixed contracts, simply isn’t sustainable as an ongoing practice.
Alongside this requirement for flexibility, when a department seeks to deploy new systems or applications, its principle go-to solution shouldn’t need to be the purchase of more servers, equipment and data centre provisions.
Departments such as the Ministry of Defence have the opportunity to put cloud computing at the heart of a wider, more agile IT vision. While not all data is suitable for the cloud - especially with the varying sensitivities around security - there are significant volumes of information that can be hosted, managed and deployed in the cloud. And by identifying this data and migrating it from on premise, departments can save huge sums of money, while delivering better services and improved access to data and information in real-time.
Platforms like our multi-cloud solution, or Cloud Application Manager, orchestrate the delivery of infrastructure, applications and services in any cloud environment. This enables departments to manage their infrastructure from one single, simple interface – to view and provision resources, manage their lifecycle and benefit from consolidated billing.
For the government, this would enable its staff to securely access data and end-user services from all environments – wherever they’re based and working. It also provides IT teams with a true insight into how their infrastructure is working at any one point in time, and can help provide them with recommendations as to how best to streamline operations.
As the public sector continues its journey to become more agile, streamlined and cost efficient, managed IT services should play a key role. The government of course has a multitude of challenges to address. If it is going to meet all of its objectives, it needs to be in a position whereby it can put more resources into the mission and less into IT. Putting the cloud at the core of its service delivery strategy would be a key first step towards this goal.