2 years ago

Service - Leadership in Government - Issue 75

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S technology IT

S technology IT infrastructure: The pillar of digital government Nearly every government in the world needs to go digital – to automate processes, service delivery and improve lives. IT enhances institutional connections within the government, increasing transparency and accountability for public services, and creating stronger social equity and hence sustainable development. 1 A CITIZEN-CENTRIC CAPABILITY MODEL with cloud technologies that reduce operating costs and All government departments have a common customer: limit the need for expensive processing centres. Cost citizens. But the services those departments provide and transparency is a crucial non-technical requirement for the activities they conduct differ. By using an operating IT service consumers in both the public and private model based on coordination, individual departments sectors. The right operating model to enable best-in-class can make in-house decisions related to their line-ofbusiness applications while transferring decisions about 1. A central agency oversees IT infrastructure IT infrastructure services is key. Three elements are vital: commodity IT infrastructure and enterprise applications and manages the complex relationships across to a shared entity. departments and suppliers Centralised portals provide personalised access While external market players can more efficiently deliver to all stakeholders from citizens and businesses to commodity IT services, including IT infrastructure and other governments. An integration hub centralises enterprise applications, a central agency can serve as something of a broker between individual departments VIRUS ALERT: Covid-19 has triggered changing work and suppliers. The agency can lead the consolidation and patterns with remote working or a hybrid of office and develop government-wide standards for IT applications, home. The defined perimeter of an organisation is data sharing and infrastructure, integrated service expanding, which opens additional vulnerabilities. management, supplier and contract management, and On average attackers sit on a network for 60-130 days without being detected. ownership of the integration layer. Without a central agency, coordinating these activities will be difficult. online systems for authentication, participation, Governments would be wise to choose external suppliers voting, petitions, content management and business for these services, addressing security and privacy concerns intelligence. It offers unified registers and databases with them, and then giving departments the flexibility to of information about citizens and vehicles and has a choose the services they want. Depending on the situation technical component containing applications and data and the mandates the government enforces, the central for system interoperability. Centralised infrastructure agency takes on one of three levels of value addition: and enterprise applications allow cost optimisation, build scalability, and agility for new services. THE BYTE OF COVID 44% of companies did not BEST-IN-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE provide cybersecurity Consumers expect a technological ecosystem rather than training focused on the potential threats 44% a disconnected set of websites and offices. In the private of working from home. sector, companies have improved customer experience 55% of company leaders MALICIOUS DISASTER cited the need to train There was a tenfold increase in attacks on digital employees on how to networks after the National State of Disaster securely work at home announcement by President Rhamaposa. 55% as the top South Africa ranks eighth in the world in challenge. recipients of malicious emails. This has turned cyber insurance into a necessity in the coronavirus pandemic. – Source: AVeS Cyber Security – Malwarebytes 2020 survey | ___ __ 50% 50% of the human population uses the Internet right now. A new cyberattack 39sec happens every 39 seconds. 1 in 4 people are potential targets of cybercrime, including businesses. – Maeson Maherry CEO, LAWTrust 1in4 22 | Service magazine Engager. The central agency manages IT sourcing processes and negotiates contracts on behalf of departments and is also responsible for managing vendor relationships. Manager. The agency adopts several roles, developing overall information and communications technology (ICT) strategy, ensuring compliance with government standards, maintaining accountability of service levels with departments through all vendors, forecasting demand, and tracking technology innovation. Among these three central-agency models, this one is often the best choice, as it optimises the level of control and value addition. Integrator. Service management is integrated across vendors and IT services; it also is accountable for delivering key services such as security. South Africa’s State Information Technology Agency plays this role, providing a mix of mandatory and non-mandatory services to agencies. 2 While it oversees IT procurement, elective services include application development and maintenance, infrastructure maintenance, and consulting and training. 2. Guide the transition to the central agency model The biggest challenge governments face when pursuing centralisation is getting buy-in from departments and agencies, which often fear losing flexibility and control and prefer to pursue what suits their own needs. Another barrier is many departments’ lack of funding for a transition, coupled with a general perception that new suppliers may cost less initially but will be more expensive – and harder to leave – in the long term. Picking the right transition model, based on existing government structure and an agency’s level of mandate, helps manage these challenges and ensures the desired level of supplier competition and department flexibility for provisioning IT infrastructure services. There are three primary transition models: Central agency-driven. The central agency determines the timeline and which departments will adopt the new delivery model and provides transition support specific to each department. The agency chooses a limited number of suppliers to ensure scale efficiencies and lower costs, and departments can only opt for an alternative if a specific service is available from the chosen set of suppliers. While the government’s mandate brings departments on board, it still must balance departments’ supplier choices with giving each supplier enough business to achieve their minimum threshold scale. Although management overhead is high with this type of transition, the IT transformation is coordinated across the government and suppliers also share some of the implementation risk. 3 technology S data centre trends will impact future digital economy Reports show that data traffic in Africa has risen by 20% since the arrival of Covid-19. In the new normal, there is an urgent need to manage, store and protect these escalating volumes of data. On top of the surge in data traffic amid the global pandemic, recent forecasts confirm longer-term dramatic growth in data traffic – boosted by technologies like 5G, IoT and an ever-increasing number of wireless connections. 1. With the pandemic accelerating digitisation, demand drivers remain strong. Investments in data centres have risen as the South African market has seen the arrival of AWS, Microsoft and Huawei over the last five years. Further, Gartner suggested that South Africa would finish 2020 as the fourth fastest-growing major IT market in the world. With the African data centre market expected to grow at a CAGR of over 12% to 2025, data centre owners will continue to weigh innovative technology with the opportunity for cost savings and operational efficiency. 2. The next wave of Internet build-out is underway – with much more at the edge. Bandwidth, costs and latency are among the reasons why more edge capacity is needed. The demand for edge computing is being driven by new applications coming to the market that require low latency, and cloud and colocation data centre providers will lead the shift. Don’t expect the edge to replace the cloud, rather they will complement one another. 3. Data centre energy use is straining the grid in places. Internet traffic growth in South Africa is expected to grow to 31 Petabytes of Internet traffic per day in 2021. To stay protected, increase operational efficiency and lower energy usage, data centres will continue to seek new and innovative ways to guarantee success for themselves and their customers. This in turn is driving the demand for new technology solutions that provide more control, flexibility, reliability and added security to manage and protect massive amounts of data. The typical objective of sourcing IT infrastructure Gartner suggested that South Africa services is effective service delivery at a reduced would finish 2020 as the fourth fastestgrowing major IT market in the world. TOP TECHNOLOGIES TO 1_Artificial Intelligence (AI) 5_3D printing TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS 8 cost of ownership. 2_Augmented reality 6_Virtual reality PwC recently analysed the top 250 emerging technologies, 3_Blockchain 7_Robotics and eight of these were predicted to be the most disruptive to organisations in the next three to five years. 4_Internet of Things (IoT) 8_Drone technology Service magazine | 23

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