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6 Big Challenges Faced by Public Sector IT Leaders

Blogs and insights

Public sector IT leaders are facing an uphill struggle to meet the community’s growing digital requirements, while juggling dwindling budgets, rising costs, and safeguarding against future disruption.

But digital transformation continues to play a critical role in the public sector. It can offer many benefits, including increased collaboration, accessibility, and agility as well as better employee and customer experiences. Technology is there to help public sector organisations work in more secure, cost-effective, and efficient ways. However, despite the advantages, embracing digital transformation and making it a success can be a challenging prospect for IT decision makers in this sector.

So how do public sector IT leaders overcome the pressure to deliver and scale digital services, whilst battling non-technical obstacles such as siloed strategy and decision making, risk-averse culture, and insufficient budgets?

Addressing and Overcoming 6 Big Challenges Faced by Public Sector IT Leaders

Let’s identify the 6 biggest challenges for public sector IT leaders and address the potential solutions.

  1. The risk-averse culture.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest challenges public sector IT leaders face is the risk-averse culture of organisations in the sector. A recent report by Deloitte found that 75% of top-level decision-makers in UK public sector organisations, believe that digital technologies are disrupting the sector. The public sector is typically recognised as being behind the private sector when it comes to digital transformation and the disbelief internally could be the reason why things aren’t progressing.

To overcome this, IT decision-makers need the right strategy to prove the ROI, benefits, and risk management of their proposed IT projects. This requires aligning the IT strategy with the business strategy. How will IT help achieve goals and objectives? How will it  improve services, society, and the end-user experience? Working with an IT partner could help you define your strategy and achieve that cultural shift.

  1. IT skills gaps in public sector organisations.

IT skills are fundamental to the delivery of public services. However, with an ongoing cost of living crisis, high inflation, and a competitive job market, organisations across all sectors are struggling to attract, train, and retain the right IT talent they need to support their systems, devices, and end-users. The process of searching, hiring, and training an in-house tech team is expensive and not always feasible in a sector where budgets are tight.

Outsourced IT support can help to mitigate this issue, fill skill gaps, and relieve management and maintenance tasks from your internal teams. The right IT partner will work as an extension to your in-house team, providing specialist skills, resources, and processes that may not be to hand in-house. Research shows that businesses that utilise IT outsourcing achieve benefits including cost reduction (88%), improved process efficiency (78%), and added business value (63%).

Read this blog on how IT outsourcing can help your business save time and money.

  1. Increasing cyberattacks towards the sector.

Many public sector firms hold vast amounts of sensitive and personal data. So, the sector is highly targeted. Recent government research shows that out of nearly 8000 cyber-attacks managed by NCSC over a 2-year period, around 40% were aimed at the public sector. With the increasing sophistication of attackers, the public sector is under more pressure than ever before to keep its IT systems secure.

There are some simple and low-cost ways that public sector IT leaders could take to ensure their systems are secure, such as; keeping software up to date, increasing controls to access data, performing regular security audits, and training employees. However, the most effective and robust security strategies are built with a holistic approach. This means addressing all areas of cybersecurity to ensure your business is protected from all angles. An IT partner with cyber security specialists can help you design and deploy a security strategy that protects your people, processes, and technology from the rising risk of cybercrime.

  1. Struggling to harness the power of data and automation.

The administrative burden of manual processes has taken its toll on the public sector. It’s time-consuming, resource-heavy, inefficient, and costly, and there is often human error. With the help of low-code platforms, public sector IT leaders have begun upskilling employees and enforcing more efficient processes. Data technology, automation, and low-code developments enable IT decision makers to not only reduce the need for tedious processes but be able to meet public needs quickly, avoiding inflexible architectures and integration headaches.

Knowsley Council is a strong example of a local service provider that used automation and a low-code solution to adapt to the increased demand from its residents and local businesses. The power of data and automation is transformational, however, it can be complex and time-consuming to implement correctly and address change and adoption management with precision. Working with an IT partner that holds specialist knowledge and experience could help you get the configuration just right, the set-up spot-on, and the end users fully engaged.

  1. Migrating to the cloud and slower adoption of cloud technologies.

The cloud is the future. In one way or another, 94% of companies use cloud technology. Why? Because it transforms the working environment improving engagement, productivity, efficiency, security and more. However, less than 30% of organisations get digital transformation right, and this is often because of the organisation’s approach to end-user adoption and change management.

The shift to a new digital environment is no straightforward process for any business. It’s important that cloud adoption is not addressed without a strategy. It’s not a one size fits all solution. Every organisation is unique and requires its own bespoke strategy to achieve a successful transformation and knowledge transfer. Common concerns for public sector IT leaders when it comes to the adoption of new technologies are stakeholder engagement, exceeding the budget and timescale, and data security and compliance risks.

Getting technical guidance will ensure your migration is seamless, meets the deadline and is to budget. A cloud-first IT partner will work with you to master end-user adoption and ensure an effective knowledge transfer that leaves every person in the business happy with their new technology.

  1. Pressure to reduce IT costs and achieve more with less.

With the current economic climate, every public sector IT leader is under extreme pressure to reduce spending and achieve more with its current technology and processes. In fact, all organisations are under increasing pressure to safeguard and retain their staff while maintaining growth and performance. So how can you reduce costs in a time when the price of everything is going up? And is there a way to save money and improve efficiency? Yes, and yes – by working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Managed Service Providers no longer just offer simple break/fix packages. Nowadays, your MSP should work with you as your IT partner to help you achieve IT goals and improve outcomes. They can enable you to lower the cost of managing IT systems, find ways to improve efficiency, gain greater control over your IT budget and more.

How Can 848 Help Public Sector IT Leaders Overcome their Challenges

The 848 Group is a cloud first IT partner and trusted Managed Service Provider to thousands of end-users across the UK.

We’re positioned on G-Cloud 13 and DOC frameworks and have worked with an array of public sector organisations helping them to embrace digital transformation, improving security, adoption, and efficiency.

Whether you’re an organisation in the public or private sector, we can provide value-added IT services and support as an approved and dedicated partner.

Get in touch with us to book your initial consultation with our experts.