From Cloud to Automation: how will the public sector round off FY19?

public sector round off, next big technology trends
Hacker tries to get into the cloud data transfer. Concept security data. © Nataliia Mysik

As 2019 gets fully underway, many IT teams will be looking for the next big technology trends to help boost their business

But for those working in a different fiscal year—such as the U.K. public sector—the current year FY19 has yet to draw to a close. With limited budgets and critical systems to manage, having the latest innovations in place to help meet increasing demands is important for ensuring that the public relying on these services are well looked after. And as the year comes to an end, public sector organisations should ensure that they have the systems and support they need to round off FY19 successfully, as well as make sure that they are fully prepared for the new FY20. So what are some of the key technology updates that could help this sector achieve these goals?

1) Cloud adoption will keep rising

As public cloud adoption continues to increase within the public sector, partly due to the Cloud First Policy introduced back in 2013, cloud providers such as AWS®, Azure®, and Google® will likely find themselves in a “mad scramble” to work within this space. With 61% of central government departments and 30% of NHS trusts now adopting some public cloud solutions, these organisations may be in the midst of migrating applications into the technology stack, both in the cloud and on-premises. With this trend, tools that can help facilitate app migration and detangling should be a focus, to help bring simplicity back to ever more complicated environments.

2) DataOps is the next big thing

In today’s increasingly digital world, data cannot be excluded from the agile decision-making process. “Data Culture” will become increasingly implemented into technology environments, and public sector organisations will become more data-driven and data-first than they have been previously. This shift will also give rise to DataOps. Operations teams should start to adopt a data mindset to discern the type of data that exceeds their own department and can be polished into something that adds value to the organisation overall—especially if this can be used to provide better services to citizens. With DataOps, organisations can begin to transition their IT team into a data science team, as they adopt a data-first frame of mind.

3) Security should be taken seriously

In 2019, we’ll see the attack vectors facing public sector organisations continue to shift as government cybersecurity systems increasingly become always-on, extending the window of access for would-be attackers. To combat this, we’re already seeing public sector IT teams look into new techniques, such as DevSecOps, to try and outpace the hackers, alongside tried and true ones like penetration testing.

One area worth considering is developing awareness throughout the agency of the threats that are out there. Making sure every employee is fully aware that they should not click on everything on the internet and is continuously trained on the best ways to reduce risk and prevent vulnerabilities will be invaluable when helping keep organisations secure, regardless of what the next threat might be. After all, you don’t need to be a locksmith to understand that you should lock your front door!

4) Automation will become second nature

Despite its transformative potential, automation is still too often perceived as a significant threat to technology professionals’ careers. However, in the next few months we expect that technology professionals will realise that contrary to widespread “automation anxiety,” they can actually automate themselves into a job rather than out of a job.

As public sector IT administrators support increasingly cloud-based workloads, we’ll see a greater number of IT teams become successful at using APIs, GUIs, and command-line interfaces to define not only networks, storage, and services, but also a number of other processes, such as managing container queues. At the same time, automation technology will also deliver significant benefits to those who are focused on the systems side of the house, who must begin to think more in terms of command-line actions and transition to an automation and orchestration-led way of doing things. Let’s not forget, automation is perfect to solve routine tasks. The time won through automation can be used to upskill, for personal development, or to focus on complex optimization of the existing IT environment.

As U.K. public sector organisations continue to work under increasing pressure, implementing a range of supporting technologies can assist in the day-to-day running of their departments. As the end of the financial year approaches, IT teams should be looking at the budget they have remaining to focus on the tools and technologies that will make meeting these predictions in the new year easier. This will help ease some of the strain and allow employees to focus on the more critical elements of their job, like the work that only they, and not their technology, can do. And as technology professionals work to finalise their activity for FY19, having some or all of the above technologies in place could help make this process much simpler, and set them up well for the coming fiscal year.


Sascha Giese 

Head Geek™



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