Digital Transformation in the Public Sector | Neos Networks

Digital Transformation in the Public Sector

By Joanne Green, Sales Director for Public Sector and Transport

The pandemic has disrupted the way we live in many unexpected ways. It has also become a catalyst for developing a more digitally accessible public sector, as sub-sectors adapt to a new environment and implement innovative ways of working.

Even before COVID-19, the UK government had plans to roll out full fibre by 2025. But with video conferencing, online learning and virtual medical consultations becoming the norm, the need for gigabit-capable coverage across the UK has become even more critical. In December 2020, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) set out the next steps in its £5 billion strategy that promises to create jobs, bolster productivity and provide remote working support.

Of course, transformation is to be welcomed, as services improve and become fit for the digital age. However, public sector IT leaders must not underestimate the challenge of widespread transformation, and what it will demand from existing networks and connectivity infrastructure.

Public sector initiatives now at work

The public sector’s digital infrastructure saw dramatic changes in Spring 2020, when sub-sectors from central government to emergency services, adapted their operations to virtually bring their indispensable services into people’s homes.

One such example is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme rolled out by the Government in order to cover 9.6 million furloughed jobs across the nation. The channel was designed, built and launched in less than five weeks and helped employers calculate their claim, identify employees they could put on furlough, understand next steps and more.

Of course, the most notable example of a public service under immense pressure during this time is the NHS. To avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, doctors established “virtual wards where patients with COVID-19 are managed in the safety of their own homes and monitoring their own oxygen levels. This saved Watford, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust 300 bed days in just three weeks.

Initiatives like this have made the public service experience more efficient, making the case that they must continue to evolve well beyond the pandemic. But to keep the pace of change going, more robust digital infrastructure is required.

Three things public sector IT leaders should be considering

While the opportunities for digital transformation advance, IT leaders know that implementing these changes is rarely straightforward and requires significant expertise and support. Public sector bodies must review their current network infrastructure set-up, taking three points of pressure into consideration; bandwidth, reliability and cost.

Greater bandwidth may support growing capacity demands but bandwidth is only one element.

Reliability will ensure uniform experience for citizens across multiple sectors. However, in order to offer this, network design, diverse connections, building entry points, fibre routing, switchover times and single point of failure analysis are more imperative than ever.

The final component in putting the right connectivity infrastructure in place is managing the strain of balancing costs. With fibre technology now advancing significantly and competition increasing, better connectivity doesn’t have to be expensive.

Balancing these pressure points depends on working with a network partner that can offer economies of scale and match the rapidly changing market dynamics.

Read our latest eBook to learn more about how the public sector is transforming and discover how Neos Networks can help in making these large-scale digital changes.

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