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Oracle: Unleashing the power of data

Guest blog by Oracle as part of the Digital Transformation In the Public Sector week. #techUKDigitalPS.

Government sits on a wealth of data and there is a real opportunity to unlock its full potential if it rethinks how it is managed, shared and utilised. Investing in the right technology and driving cultural shifts will enable agile public services and savings for the taxpayer to be delivered. This has never been more important as cost challenges continue to bite.    

There have been recent signals that this is front of mind. The Digital, Data and Technology Playbook and the Health Data Strategy place importance on replacing legacy systems and putting data at the heart of public service delivery. The recently published ‘Transforming for a digital future: 2022 to 2025 roadmap for digital and data’ further builds on this by setting out six cross-government missions for departments to deliver to reach their vision and drive efficiencies.  

Delivering efficiencies, integration and taxpayer savings are crucial. However, it doesn’t come easily. Investing in the right technology will enable a rethink to the way government data is managed, shared and utilised and create digital infrastructure with longevity and opportunity 

The first challenge is what to do with the legacy IT estate that underpins significant amounts of critical national infrastructure, but which is costly to maintain, has potential security vulnerabilities and is holding back the pace of transformation.  One approach is to move these legacy workloads to a cloud-based infrastructure, where they can be hosted securely and have the legacy applications remediated.  Oracle has developed a series of patterns and established a team of experts to help clients move such workloads to Oracle’s UK Government Region where the application can be optimized and stabilized, freeing valuable resources. 

The second step is for government and the wider public sector to double-down on their commitment to cloud. Commercially available ‘out of the box’ applications and solutions should be prioritised as these are easy to adopt and scale. They also enable the public sector to ‘buy once and use many’ and benefit from a climate of innovation as providers compete to improve security, capabilities and performance, ensuring new legacy debt does not develop.  

This approach to investing in tried and tested applications that can be scaled and tailored to deliver data-driven decision making and savings for taxpayers has a strong track record. Oracle’s work with the NHS Business Services Authority uses machine learning to analyse the NHS pension scheme and payments to contractors. Our solutions have helped identify £1 billion in on-going annual savings. 

This demonstrates how the adoption of new technological approaches can support the efficiency drive from government. Just as important is driving a culture change in how departments and government agencies view the ownership, management and handling of the vast amounts of data it has.  

Currently, the idea of a single government ‘data owner’ prevents many parts of government and the public sector from maximising the value of data, driving the creation of data silos which limit data use, interoperability and analysis. While sensitive data must of course be protected, rethinking this model would unleash the potential of government-held data. This has worked for complex and global organisations in the private sector and could work similarly well for government.  

It's important to focus on driving a mindset change from ‘data owners’ to ‘data stewards’, with cross-government data stewardship committees formed to collaboratively own and govern data. These committees would then be responsible for facilitating the effective and secure use of data – instead of merely preventing people from using it. 

Such a rethink would both change the approach to owning government and public sector data and drive broader recognition of its value and potential. This will ultimately support departments and agencies when deciding on procuring technology – as only by first realising the potential value of data can we assess the benefits that will result if effective tools and storage systems are adopted.  

Ultimately, it is positive that the government is increasingly recognising how technology drives increased efficiency. However now is the time to go further and faster – with a new approach to IT modernisation and a re-think of how data is managed, shared and utilised. To learn more about Oracle, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter for more.

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.

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, Accenture.gif

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