Digital Transformation at the Heart of Public Services

The world around us continues to evolve with artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, 5G, data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) improving how we communicate and exchange information. Increased digitisation and the growing interconnectedness of people, organisations, and machines is already having a profound impact on the Irish economy.

Government is recognising the opportunities breakthrough technologies can unlock for the benefit of our economy and society. Increasingly, public policy is emphasising the role of digital in scaling up SMEs, advancing sustainability and engaging with citizens in new ways.

Public sector transformation

Today, technology is driving significant transformation within the public sector in Ireland, enabling the development of a digital economy and the delivery of improved citizen services. Connecting Government 2030 and the Digital Ireland framework provide a roadmap with the potential to harness new technologies and drive a step-change in how people and business interact with the State.

Connecting Government 2030 strategy aims to build towards 90% of public services being consumed online[1]. There is a growing recognition within the public sector that this growth will be driven by the increasing adoption of cloud computing, big data analytics, and the evolution of 5G edge computing.

But what are the building blocks that could help support these efforts and ensure digital transformation is at the heart of public services?

Generate value through digital transformation

As the Irish Government continues its digital transformation journey, there are a handful of practical focus areas which can help it on this journey.

One is the development of a hybrid workforce within the public sector which has responsive, on-demand, robust IT services that underpin a positive work environment and collaboration across Government. This can also involve a mix of mobile and office-based workers, so that civil and public servants are able to work productively from anywhere.

Making better use of data assets can also spur innovation. All too often data is not harnessed to give policymakers insights into the changing needs of citizens. For example, purpose designed data storage and processing provide an opportunity to simplify and secure data management within our healthcare system and help healthcare professionals to make better decisions for their patients.

Security and trust to unlock true digitalisation

Another key building block is security and trust. Organisations in both the private and public sector in Ireland are facing ever evolving threats that are putting at risk vital services for citizens and businesses.

Digitalisation provides citizens with ease of access to public data and services but trust in the security of IT solutions is vital. This is why placing this critical data in a secure and intelligent vault will help ensure it is isolated, can’t be modified and can be quickly recovered in the event of an attack – enabling services to get up and running quickly again.

Through our advisory services and security solutions, our team at Dell Technologies Ireland are supporting public sector organisations to tackle their toughest security challenges and enhance their cyber resilience. From our updated Managed Detection and Response Pro Plus to a new cloud-based version of the Secured Component Verification, we are developing solutions to help public service providers safeguard user identities, data, and systems, and recover quickly from cyber-attacks.

Digital transformation in action

One of the key benefits of technology in the public sector is the ability to deliver improved citizen services. There are more and more examples of organisations and technologists in Ireland coming together to provide online access to government services, such as renewing driver’s licenses and paying taxes. This not only makes it easier for citizens to access services, but also reduces travel costs and commuting time to government offices.

In the education field, the growing collaboration between third level institutes and businesses is delivering measurable results for researchers. Through its partnership with Dell, Munster Technological University has created a new AI platform powered by a supercomputer. The platform is helping students and researchers with advanced AI modelling that has the capacity to help transform Ireland’s economy and society.

Students are also seeing the benefit of digital transformation at work. 34,000 students, teachers and support staff at Ulster University across four campuses in Northern Ireland are now benefitting from a consistent teaching and learning experience powered by technology.

Looking ahead, new technologies that were once only a concept are now coming to life. Take the potential for Digital Twin technology. A digital twin is the digital copy of an asset. By running simulations on this digital asset, IT scientists and researchers can study it and predict real-world outcomes based on changes in its digital operating conditions. This innovation is enabling healthcare institutions to meet pressing challenges, from personalising healthcare to combatting patient wait times.

Preparing for the future

Winning in the digital economy requires a combination of technical understanding, pioneering leadership, and a sense of vision and determination to encourage an ecosystem of innovation. Government leaders in Ireland who engage with these possibilities today can shape the digital economies of tomorrow.

By putting digital transformation at the heart of public services and delivering on the promises of Connecting Government 2030 plan, Ireland can lead the way in delivering innovative public services that meet the evolving needs of a changing society.

Guest post by George Maybury, Public Sector Director, Dell Technologies Ireland & Northern Ireland