Governmental organizations are migrating or have migrated from expensive and potentially vulnerable data centers to the cloud, sparked by the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI), a federal project requiring agencies to shift to cloud-based infrastructure to better serve the public good, while increasing ROI for taxpayers. Almost 40% of governments expected cloud services to be a technology area where they would spend the greatest amount of new or additional funding in 2019. Such shifts indicate a growing level of comfort with offsite storage solutions, but with adoption comes risk. Recent events have spurred sudden transformation of contact centers, office environments, payments, security and citizen requirements that require the cloud like never before.
To bad actors, an explosion in the points of digital connection represents an explosion in opportunities for cyber intrusions, also known as “threat vectors.” With distributed applications spreading across digital ecosystems, the surface area for cyber attacks is growing. In its latest Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon analyzed 41,686 security incidents, of which 2,013 were confirmed data breaches spanning 86 countries.4
Of governmental organizations surveyed by Verizon, 82% said the risks associated with mobile devices are serious and increasing.5 Meanwhile, nearly one-third of public sector organizations reported being compromised, and of those, one in five described the consequences as “major.”6 Poorly configured servers practically invite bad actors inside.
Constituent experience (CX)
Accustomed to the growing ease and convenience of online tools and services, the public is also demanding better digital solutions from their government officials. Constituents expect the convenience, speed and personalization they already receive from the private sector.
Public sector employees expect services and solutions that can help them do their jobs correctly and efficiently. A recent survey of 388 government employees from federal, state and local levels found that increased productivity, improved safety and security, and better customer/citizen service were among the top drivers of digital transformation efforts.7
Despite these worthy goals, the same study found that nearly half of respondents believe their organization trails other departments when it comes to adopting new technologies for transforming business processes.8 A majority of respondents lack confidence that their organizations have all the right ingredients to achieve successful IT transformation, with more than half identifying as only “slightly confident” or “not at all confident” that existing processes will enable them to complete the journey.9
Fortunately, opportunities for impactful digital experiences are increasing for government employees and the general public alike, thanks to the proliferation of innovative new technologies. Public sector thinkers should be looking at digital solutions that allow them to grow and stretch to achieve things they never could before. Again, it’s not whether these changes are coming, but whether you’re ready for them.