March 26, 2023

Public sector digital transformation presents a multitude of opportunities, but with technological expansion come challenges; let’s explore a few

We are seeing many examples where technology is enabling public field digital change . This is allowing organisations to add value to customers and members, as well as become more efficient, plus we expect this to continue in the medium term. This is driven by adopting cloud-based technologies , including infrastructure and software as service platforms and applications that allow rapid deployment of components with rapid scaling capability .

In back-office functions, such as finance, HR plus Procurement, the particular consumption of this technology plus automation services such while robotics, data analytics systems and artificial intelligence has reduced the volume associated with manual business processing activities that colleagues have traditionally been required to perform. Back-office colleagues can now operate a lot more as strategic decision-makers for the organisation through business partnering, leveraging the data provided (and time saved) by software to successfully analyse information for decision-making, model scenarios and present more precise business intelligence to stakeholders.

In front-line services, we are viewing the continued deployment of online services powered by digital systems, such like the establishment of truly digital end-to-end customer services leveraging cloud technologies and networks, AI-powered bots for end-user interactions and self-service for electronic records as key enablers. Organisations are better equipped than ever to assess how their front-line online services are usually consumed, leveraging metrics around adoption plus consumption that can pinpoint issues or failures in processes.

However , many organisations are still in the early stages of their public industry digital modification journey. More advanced innovations, like virtual/augmented reality, are largely without a clear use case in the sector.

Implementing technologies that adds value

Technology implementation can be complex in order to execute, often requiring the multi-year programme of work to effectively implement and embed. We see a lack of strategy plus vision, company value assessment, skills and training, plus security resilience as difficulties facing public sector digital transformation, particularly given potential cost pressures in the particular current economic climate.

The first challenge is the lack of strategy and vision. Without a clear focus on how technology will tangibly add value to the organisation, there is a risk that will key enablers are not successfully adopted. The technology strategy should be led by the organisation strategy so that technology directly complement organisational objectives. Clear technologies roadmaps then need to be defined and aligned to the particular strategy.

Linked to this is the need in order to have clearly calculated business value, which includes financial (such as Total Cost associated with Ownership, Cost to Serve, Cost to Implement) plus non-financial (System Adoption, System Availability, Security Posture, Net Promoter Scores) measures. Without clear calculation of these metrics at the front end and ongoing tracking and monitoring, presently there is the clear risk that technology implementations exceed budget and/or don’t deliver the desired outputs.

Another key challenge is the insufficient capability in order to implement plus consume technologies. This is a challenge we are seeing with emerging platforms, which requires investment in electronic skills with regard to most organisations.

When it comes to security and resilience, the adoption of new technologies brings new risks that organisations have not previously managed. Exposing programs to the particular web in order to enable on the internet connectivity regarding users can significantly increase the attack surface. Therefore, expense in cyber defences for example Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, Web Application Firewalls plus Threat Detection technologies is key. We also continue to see increases in Ransomware attacks that will compromise key internal systems and information, particularly whereby an user unfamiliar with technology may inadvertently expose this to a malicious threat actor.

Key elements associated with public field digital transformation

It will be essential that when organisations deploy new systems, this is usually done within a clear framework. Not only will this maximise the probability of successful implementation, but it will also help to ensure that key risks, such seeing that cyber security and operational resilience, are effectively handled from the general public sector .

There are six core layers to allowing organisations in order to achieve their own transformation goals:

  • Assess and strategise: Outline the key objectives of the transformation within consideration from the broader company, processes and the as-is technologies. Define the required organisation worth, perform the risk evaluation and develop the technology roadmap.
  • Migrate, transform and implement: Design and execute the technical deployment associated with the technology, including data migration actions where required. Ensure secure configuration of all deployed parts.
  • Optimise plus manage: Develop the functional capabilities and processes to run the new technologies under a business-as-usual scenario. Ensure operations support processes to manage risks, including effective access and change management routines and internet defence ability.
  • Data plus automation: Make sure there is a clearly defined information architecture and governance model, incorporating the new technology and its integrations. Consider data protection, privacy or even governance issues that may arise.
  • Business switch: Ensure that end users receive adequate communication, training plus support with regard to new technology adoption. This includes awareness around end-user responsibilities intended for the safety of confidentiality and integrity of platforms
  • Risk and controls: Embed key controls with the particular technology application. Ensure there is sufficient security plus privacy assessment prior in order to go-live, and that important controls compliance requirements are usually integrated within the technology. Monitor and manage threats plus risks as they evolve.
  • By executing these steps, the danger of new-technology deployments being exploited simply by malicious parties can be greatly reduced.

Written by Simon Withington, Director, Lead of IT Internal Audit at Mazars

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