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Survey indicates data shortcomings in Whitehall


Less than half of central government ICT leaders believe their current data infrastructure can help them meet strategic transformation objectives, according a newly released survey.

Data solutions company Pure Storage said that only 48% of 101 senior officials responding to its questions expressed confidence in the outlook, while higher proportions identified significant problems.

At least four-fifths said the infrastructure can compromise operational agility (85%), increase operational costs (83%), create compliance challenges (82%) and reduce the ability to meet citizen expectations (80%).

Other figures to emerge included 49% believing data was important to deliver a time-efficient service for citizens; 43% saying it is necessary to drive reliable and mobile optimised services; and 42% responding that it can help create a simple and smooth experience for users.

Over half (54%) said they believe they could be making better use of data and analytics for cost savings and to derive more value, while 42% said it would enable better real time decision making.

Overhaul and barriers

There are plans to overhaul data strategy and infrastructure among 49% of the respondents over the next two years. But majorities also identified significant barriers: 89% in the need for investment in data infrastructure; 80% for spending on applications; 78% in legacy processes and lack of agility; and 77% in the lack of digital skills.

Shaun Collings, the company’s UK director for public sector, said: “The legacy architecture that many departments have in place does not fully support the efforts to obtaining greater value from data.

“A modern ICT environment is needed that can scale up on demand, align application workloads with the most effective infrastructure and promise 100% non-disruption so that the government can truly achieve its digital transformation goals.”

The survey was carried out in January and February by consultancy Insight Avenue, and has fed into Pure Storage’s new UK Smart Government Report.

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