How core connectivity can deliver a brighter digital future for the public sector - Neos Networks

How core connectivity can deliver a brighter digital future for the public sector

Joanne Green, Public Sector and Transport Sales Director, Neos Networks

Covid-19 changed everything about the way we work, with many believing the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation.

We recently conducted a survey to investigate the relationship between the level of attention paid to core connectivity and the extent of digital transformation success experienced by large UK organisations.

For the public sector in particular, the survey brought to light some interesting statistics with the research revealing that transforming digitally remains high on the agenda of many, with 65% of organisations stating it is important to their future strategy.

As one might expect with the public sector, this appears to be a strategy focused around bettering the lives of people. The research would suggest that this is being considered in two primary ways; through the improvement of internal processes which will make the working day easier for employees, and through the introduction of technological advancements designed to improve the lives of citizens.

The challenges facing the public sector in digital transformation

Government has a reputation for being slow to adopt change and our survey suggests that the public sector are taking a very measured approach to digital transformation, with 90% stating they have a roadmap in place to support their strategy. While this looks positive, greater internal inclusivity is an issue with just over half (53%) of public sector respondents suggesting their roadmap has been agreed across all departments within the organisation. This compares to almost three quarters (74%) of those organisations reporting highly successful digital transformation programmes ensuring the strategy was agreed across all departments.

Public sector organisations are focusing on three key areas:

With improving efficiency of the IT function and operations and increasing productivity as the key motivators, these are the same three focus areas adopted by those organisations reporting highly successful transformation programmes. This bodes well for the sector and suggests that the priorities do indeed surround the desire to ensure the underlying network infrastructure is robust and resilient enough to contend with future demands.

The 4 key issues for Digital Transformation by the public sector

  • Safety and risk:
    With so much emphasis on safety and risk, it’s no surprise that the biggest digital transformation challenge for the sector is information security. This undoubtedly will impact the level of pace and innovation afforded when trying to evolve digital estates.
  • Resource:
    Another common challenge was the extent to which internal IT teams are stretched, with plans suffering setbacks as a result of Covid-19. While most respondents, including those in the public sector, have suggested the outbreak accelerated transformation programmes, it is here that you are most likely to find an organisation that has experienced a reduction in the pace of roll-out also.
  • Connectivity:
    More than eight out of ten (84%) in the sector are plagued by slow lead times when implementing new technology solutions. It’s also the sector most likely to suggest it needs more help and advice regarding the optimal balance of connectivity performance versus cost, and the most likely to be uncertain about which connectivity technologies will be fit for purpose in the future.
  • Supportive telecoms providers:
    Just a fifth of respondents in the public sector stated they were happy with the advice provided by their current telecoms provider on which new technologies can help with digital transformation; a key differentiator between the sector and those businesses successfully progressing their digital transformation programmes.

Emulating organisations leading the way
Despite these challenges, public sector organisations are taking positive steps towards achieving success with their digital transformation programmes. The sector’s priority focus on adoption of cloud infrastructure and cloud applications is testament to this, given those succeeding in digital transformation are taking the same approach.

One of the most promising indicators of all however, is that almost six out of ten (58%) in the sector acknowledge their organisation is extremely reliant on the robustness and reliability of its connectivity solution – another common characteristic of those businesses reporting high levels of success with their digitisation processes.

That being said, the sector appears to be failing to attribute an appropriate amount of budget towards improving it. 43% of respondents within the public sector revealed that, at most, 20% of the IT budget would be spent on digital transformation with just under half of those respondents (48%) spending between 5% and 20% of that budget on connectivity. Furthermore, the public sector is likeliest of all to attribute less than 5% or in some cases even zero digital transformation budget to enhancing connectivity solutions.

Replicating a successful rollout
It’s important to gain a greater appreciation of exactly how the solutions implemented will add tangible value to the organisation. The majority of respondents demonstrated a lack of faith that their current digital transformation plans will address the connectivity challenges experienced. Those in organisations achieving high levels of success in digital transformation appear to show far more concern about the solutions they are implementing. This might suggest organisations in the public sector have too much blind faith in their digitisation plans, when in fact they should be doing more to comprehensively understand what they need and how it will deliver benefit, both immediately and in the future.

The level of visibility and control over the network has been key to highly successful organisations, with 90% recognising significant benefits of SD-WAN (Proactive management, better performance info., control of applications). This can be achieved with the latest WAN solutions, such as SD-WAN and IP-VPN, and should be considered by organisations in the public sector looking to achieve more in this regard.

Our research into the relationship between connectivity and digital transformation success highlighted much to consider. Ultimately, to maximise impact and demonstrate value, organisations in the public sector must re-consider their approach, their priorities, and the extent to which they are prepared to invest in improving connectivity solutions as part of their digital transformation programmes.

To find out more, read the full report, Digital transformation in the public sector: How core connectivity can deliver a brighter digital future for UK citizens


End note –

During the summer of 2021, Neos Networks partnered with B2B International to investigate the relationship between the level of attention paid to core connectivity and the extent of digital transformation success experienced by large UK organisations. By way of an independent survey, 247 respondents across a range of industries were interviewed in order to understand more about the attitudes and strategies around digital transformation, the challenges faced and what good looks like.


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