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Dynatrace: A modern observability strategy is key to public sector transformation

Guest blog by Greg Adams, Regional VP, UK&I at Dynatrace as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week #techUKDigitalPS

Digital transformation became more important than ever during the pandemic, as organisations raced to adapt to widespread disruption. McKinsey reported that digital adoption accelerated by the equivalent of five years in just a few weeks. However, while much of the emphasis was on private enterprises, arguably the more impressive work came from the public sector. Central and local government took the lead in the effort to contain a combined global healthcare and financial crisis. In the UK alone, government departments delivered 69 new digital services in just a few weeks.

It's clear that this increased pace of digital delivery is here to stay. However, as citizens’ expectations continue to rise and more users flood online, stretched public sector IT teams will need to focus on improving observability into the cloud-native technology environments that underpin today’s citizen services.

Improving digital agility

Whitehall’s rapid delivery of new digital services and scaling up of existing ones at the onset of the pandemic was impressive. The HMRC’s flagship Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the DWP’s Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance services were prime examples of what public sector innovators were already capable of. The CJRS was designed, built and launched in under five weeks, with strong customer satisfaction scores. 

However, once citizens had experienced these new digital ways of interacting with public sector organisations, few have wanted to go back to the old ways. This is both good and bad news for public sector IT leaders. On one hand, it offers a tremendous opportunity to deliver public services more efficiently and cost effectively. On the other, now that citizens have seen what’s possible, their expectations are on the rise.  

Seeing into the unknown 

Meeting those expectations is becoming more difficult due to the inherent complexity of today’s technology ecosystems. Most digital public services are powered by multi-cloud environments, built from potentially hundreds of applications with millions of dependencies, and changing every few seconds. That creates a lot of observability data – metrics, logs, and traces – that must be captured and analysed to identify and resolve problems before citizen experiences are affected.

The sheer volume of data makes it almost impossible to process it quickly enough to unlock the insight needed to deliver world-class citizen experiences. Traditional monitoring tools often come with manual instrumentation requirements, which make observability strategies too piecemeal, time-consuming and ineffective. This leads to blind spots, which impact digital service delivery.

Automation is key

AI and automation are therefore becoming central to enabling end-to-end observability at the scale needed to deliver first-class digital services in the public sector. The ability to automatically discover and map all the components and dependencies of the cloud-native technology stack – from the underlying platforms and infrastructure to the networks and hosts that connect them, and the processes, services, apps, and websites they power – is essential.

This level of observability means AIOps approaches can be embraced to maximum effect. AI-powered solutions can instantly understand what “normal” behaviour looks like, determine whether a change in that behaviour could impact users, and then identify what went wrong and how it can be resolved.

Catering for digital-first citizens

In time, this AIOps strategy could be taken further, to optimize digital experiences, automate cloud operations, and free up developers to focus more of their time on driving public sector innovation. Ultimately, that will unlock a whole world of possibilities for creating digital-first citizen services. 

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

You can also follow the campaign on techUK's Twitter and LinkedIn - #techUKDigitalPS.

Greg Adam_Dynatrace.jpeg

Greg Adams, Regional VP, UK&I at Dynatrace, a large Enterprise Sales Leader with 20 years experience in building teams and delivering revenue growth. A demonstrable track record in winning complex Enterprise deals across industry sectors. Proven ability to succeed in organisations going through strategic change.
Empowering teams through coaching, personal development and performance recognition. To learn more about Dynatrace, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter.

On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.

You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:

DDaT Playbook Launch Event

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techUK talks with… Shaheen Sayed, CEO - UK, Ireland & Africa, Accenture

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