Six months ago the government launched its flagship Industrial Strategy to make “the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030”. Billions of pounds are being poured into helping the country respond to global challenges and opportunities, in the face of what The World Economic Forum has labelled the next industrial revolution.
While the first industrial revolution was about horsepower – with factories eliminating slower and more costly hand production – in the 21st Century, machines are now poised to automate brainpower, transforming knowledge and decision-based work.
For local government, this brainpower revolution will mean tough choices. The future lies in modernised digital services that transform citizen access and service quality while also reducing costs and heightening productivity. However, amidst tumultuous technology change, only the public cloud can make this vision a reality.
Just as steam and electricity drove prior industrial breakthroughs, so the cloud is crucial to enabling the brainpower revolution. On-premise IT may bring a certain level of comfort and familiarity, but it’s ill-suited to keeping up with today’s rapid pace of change. By connecting to the cloud, local authorities can make a quantum leap in terms of efficiency, scalability and performance. It’s the equivalent of moving from a backyard generator to the national grid.
Public cloud services offer an IT paradigm that’s future-ready, unleashing a host of innovations that local government doesn’t have the capacity to build or run internally, from big data analytics to artificial intelligence. By dramatically lowering the time and cost of trialling new approaches, the cloud also makes failure acceptable, giving organisations the freedom to test new ideas.
Consolidating services in the cloud empowers organisations to cope with change more easily as well. Consider the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force next month. Compared to paper-based records or remote data depositories, cloud archiving and indexing makes supporting GDPR’s new requirements far less onerous.
However, productivity is perhaps the greatest gain from the cloud, since it frees staff from day-to-day IT management. As a result, local government can embrace the cloud to drive a productivity boom: creating new opportunities, enhancing services, developing new skills and accelerating innovation.
Now is the time for local government to capitalise on the brainpower revolution – and there are plenty of cloud partners ready to lend a helping hand.
David Wild, infrastructure and platforms director, Agilisys
Column sponsored and supplied by Agilisys