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Data is propelling the UK public sector forward

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Tim Skinner
Tim Skinner
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When it comes to using data, the UK public sector has made tremendous progress in a short time. Now there is a clear opportunity to expand data-sharing capabilities across national and local government organisations, fuelling innovation and growth.

The purpose of the National Data Strategy (NDS) is to harness the power of data to boost productivity, create new jobs, improve public services, and position the next wave of innovation. NetApp has conducted research to determine whether the NDS is living up to its promise in the eyes of public sector decision makers and to what extent it is being implemented in day-to-day governance.

Public leaders back UK strategy

Decision makers across the UK public sector appear to be in broad agreement that the NDS is important and that it is working. Three-quarters believe that it is essential to the UK’s future economic growth. And, on a practical level, almost four in five say that their organisation uses the NDS as a strategic guide for their own policies around data sharing and usage.

Of course, following best practices often requires an investment. Not all public sector organisations have the necessary infrastructure to deliver the digital services of the future, so it’s important to plan to invest in technologies that are fit-for-purpose.

Cloud acceleration will continue

The biggest trend that we see as the public sector continues to embrace more intelligent use of data and digital is migrating services to the cloud. Organisations need to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and compute power offered by the public cloud to implement the objectives of the NDS.

To that end, almost nine in ten public sector leaders plan to grow or maintain their cloud spend in 2022. We are increasingly seeing the UK public sector move towards a strategy of being ‘cloud-appropriate’ rather than simply ‘cloud-first’. This is a more financial and operationally prudent way to describe supporting digitised public services.

The fabric of future public services

The move towards hybrid cloud data services requires technical expertise and digital skills among public sector employees. The UK government’s own data skills gap report shows that as many as 234,000 data-related roles are presently unfilled. The public sector leaders whom NetApp surveyed confirmed the extent of this challenge, with almost two in three saying that digital upskilling is required to help their organisation achieve its digital transformation goals.

NetApp works with organisations across central and local government, health and social care, emergency services, education, and defence every day. We appreciate the challenges of disconnecting data storage silos, enabling data mobility, and remaining compliant with data regulations.

Creating a hybrid cloud data fabric can help public sector organisations truly realise the vision of the NDS and improve the public services available to citizens through digitisation.

Read the full report Data’s role in propelling the UK public sector forward.

Tim Skinner

An experienced leader with extensive knowledge of global technology organisations focused on generating business-level customer value within the Public and Private sector. Previously Head of BT’s Central Government business, now at NetApp I particularly enjoy my current role leading the Public Sector business; helping our Government deliver better Public Services is a real privilege and extremely rewarding.

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