Security to become primary reason government agencies move to the cloud

Public cloud options now offer the scalability, computing power, storage and security to better enable digital government platforms and meet rising expectations for performance and value, according to Gartner, Inc.

Gartner predicts that by 2018, increased security will displace cost savings and agility as the primary driver for government agencies to move to public cloud within their jurisdictions.

“Many cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, invest heavily in incorporating higher levels of security into their products to continue building confidence that their data is more secure,” said Neville Cannon, research director at Gartner. “Many of these providers can invest more than what most nations could afford, let alone the average government agency.”

Mr. Cannon said that hindrances do remain, however, as nationalism and concerns about data sovereignty will slow benefit realization, as cost savings and agility are maintained as subsidiary drivers in the belief that data is more secure when retained within its jurisdiction.

Adoption will start to accelerate, and subject to appropriate analysis of the risks involved, the provider’s capabilities and the technologies chosen to protect the data, public sector CIOs should look to use public cloud for hosting both public and low-to-medium levels of sensitive data.

By 2018, more than 50 percent of the Tier 1 support services at government contact centers will be provided by virtual personal assistants

“To improve efficiency and optimize business outcomes, government agencies are experimenting with smart machine technologies, such as virtual assistants, to deliver frontline services,” said Rick Howard, research director at Gartner. “Advances in cognitive learning and natural-language processing technologies have reached the stage of commercial viability that government CIOs can factor them into technology roadmaps.”

Deploying virtual personal assistants to conduct lower-level business functions, such as Tier 1 support services or claims resolution, sets the stage for the government workforce to shift to more value-added activities, such as case management and program evaluation. Government CIOs should work with program managers to develop business use cases for various smart machine technologies and then construct scenarios for achieving the desired business results.

By 2018, more than 25 percent of government agencies will adopt ‘BYO algo’ policies to boost workforce-led innovation

Gartner believes that the growing availability of self-service data discovery and business intelligence/analytic tools, as well as the creation of a “consumerized” digital work environment, will drive government agencies to actively seek the talent of workers who are encouraged to bring their proprietary intellectual property to work.

Next-generation (smart) data discovery tools and capabilities make insights from advanced analytics more accessible to business users or citizen data scientists. Gartner believes the performance of government workers and organizations will be determined by the methodologies and algorithms they uniquely employ to turn data into actions that increase efficiency and effectiveness.

“The formulation and adoption of BYO algo policies in government will help address the competitive disadvantage that public-sector employers often face in the quest to recruit top talent,” said Mr. Howard. “By doing so, agencies will fully benefit from the talent of employees whose personal success rests on using all the digital tools at their disposal.”

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