Data remains an issue for public sector, finds survey

A new survey has unveiled an overwhelming desire within the public sector to harness innovative technology that is hampered by lack of certainty over data residency.  

UKCloud announced the results of a survey of more than 300 senior IT professionals and business leaders that reveals the key challenges and issues that the public sector is facing in harnessing value from its data.

The State of Digital and Data survey found that 97 per cent of UK public sector respondents are, at the very least, evaluating digital technology and its potential to improve the outcomes and services being delivered to citizens. This chimes with the recently updated National Data Strategy which express a clear desire for the nation to use its valuable datasets to fuel innovation.

So, given there is clear alignment of the digital aspirations of public sector organisations, UKCloud’s survey discovered some of the key challenges that are hampering progress. These include only half of respondents believing that they have the resources necessary to understand and drive efficiencies from the data they have, meaning they can’t determine its true value, and the majority of organisations not dedicating more than a few days each month for employees to innovate and research ways to unlock more value from data, suggesting there just isn’t enough time for them to discover new ways of working.

Additionally, organisations don’t seem to know where their data is, they just think they do. When asked where the majority of their data resides, those surveyed demonstrated genuine uncertainty by providing contrary responses. The split between survey answers suggests a lack of complete data oversight.

Leighton James, CTO at UKCloud, said: “In 2020, our State of Cloud adoption survey really helped organisations across public sector begin to understand and address the blockers to cloud adoption. This year, I believe our State of Digital and Data survey will have a similar positive impact for public sector organisations and their industry partners. This survey shows that the UK public sector is committed to the benefits of digital transformation, and it is also clear that this transformation is too big a leap for many organisations. UKCloud, and our innovative partners, are focused on bridging that gap by delivering services and capabilities that are specifically developed to address the actual challenges facing most public sector organisations. I believe our latest survey will once again help our community understand and address these challenges in order to deliver better outcomes to those that rely on public services.”