Innovation in government is key to developing thriving digital economies

Our world needs technology now more than ever. The future of the economy and our communities depends on the ability of government, business and stakeholders to address many societal issues, and investing in digital transformation is the key to success.

In the UAE, the government continues to lead the way in recognizing the critical role of technology in reimagining society and enabling human progress. In fact, according to the Dell Technologies 2020 Digital Transformation Index, 90 per cent of organizations in UAE fast-tracked their digital transformation programs in a year – accomplishing in a few months, what would normally have taken years. With the global digital transformation market size set to grow from $521.5bn in 2021 to $1247.5bn by 2026, we’re seeing some important shifts that are driving the continuous evolution of the public sector.

Data driven decision making: Gartner predicts that by 2022, 75 per cent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud – an increase from the less than 10 per cent generated today. In our increasingly urbanized world, as data becomes both more voluminous and business-critical, organizations need data management solutions that can fill a broad range of objectives. In the UAE, the government is already working to streamline all innovations to help solve modern-day challenges. The scope of action is broad – public health, mobility, housing, security, schooling, waste management, culture, tourism and more – with the final goal being quite simple: to improve the quality of life for everyone in the country.

Turning government IT operations into agile and efficient innovation engines: From the edge device to the core data centre, to the cloud, governments today are consolidating storage and server infrastructure with hyper-converged and multi-cloud capabilities to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. In addition, technologies such as AI, ML, IoT and data analytics continue to be at the forefront of IT investments and are rapidly changing how governments will operate and succeed in this hybrid digital era.

Building interactivity and smarter services into the public sector: From citizen-focused digital identities to hybrid cloud adoption and facilitation of remote services, digital transformation is integral to driving the public sector of the future. In the UAE, nearly every major branch of government is digitized. As the government invests heavily in ‘omnichannel’ touchpoints, they are reimagining citizen experience. This means using APIs (application program interface), machine learning, and intelligent processing to enable efficiency and fulfill the needs of citizens.

Modernizing cybersecurity: Around the world, a cyberattack takes place every eleven seconds. Cyberattacks on government organizations can have far reaching impact given their importance to the national security, citizen safety, and sources of economic competitiveness and wealth generation. It’s now more important than ever that public sector infrastructure empowers business resilience to help identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from a cyberattack and enable a rapid return to fully functioning operations. For example, the UAE has strengthened its cyber security framework and formed a new council to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. The UAE also jumped 33 places to rank fifth in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 due to its advanced awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

Saving capital and innovating faster: Since the beginning of the pandemic both public and private sector organizations have had to reshape budgets quickly and drastically, with many having to reduce overall spend. When a company can consume IT on an as-needed basis, via an as-a-service model, it’s easier to track which projects are or aren’t working according to plan. In turn, this helps them know where and where not to commit additional funds. Businesses are increasingly looking at expanding as-a-service adoption to focus on what matters most: delivering business outcomes and value to customers. It’s safe to say that the as-a-service model is the future of the modern enterprise.

It’s clear that digital disruption caused by the current environment offers policymakers the opportunity to fully utilize digital technologies to adapt as well as respond rapidly to unforeseen external pressures. The continued digitalization of governments will be a crucial steppingstone when it comes to driving change in the medium and long-term – and if we can take anything from 2020 it should be pace of innovation and hunger for change. This is the digital mindset that will drive public sector transformations beyond the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Walid Yehia is the director and general manager – UAE at Dell Technologies

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