How government digital transformation is rapidly increasing
Written by Paul Slater
Nuix charts how government digital transformation is rapidly changing the way government bodies work and deliver services.
Government digital transformation is rapidly changing the way government bodies work and deliver services, both internally to their staff and externally to members of the public. Through increased adoption of digital technologies, government organizations strive to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and better serve the needs of the public.
Big Data can have a significant impact and influence on government digital transformation initiatives. A common term since the early 1990s often credited to John R. Mashey from Silicon Graphics, “Big Data” has undoubtedly become a bit of a buzzword in the past decade and is now accepted as an integral part of our daily lives, transforming the way we live, work, and interact.
The number of “V’s” that Big Data references has increased over the years, with today’s core 5v’s of Big Data being: Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity, and Value.
These five characteristics are key factors for any digital transformation program
Big data requires efficient management, storage, and processing. As it is generated at an unprecedented rate from diverse sources, and multiple formats, it requires real-time processing. The quality and accuracy of this data are crucial to the success of digital transformation projects; therefore, technology must be implemented to ensure its quality and integrity.
Government bodies worldwide increasingly turn to digital transformation (using the tried and tested people, process, technology (PPT) framework) to improve their operations. However, transformation comes with unique risks, challenges, and significant costs. Therefore, government bodies must carefully consider all aspects of digital transformation, including data lifecycle, cloud migration, privacy, fraud, and relevant technology to support the identification and management of data, to successfully implement these initiatives and better serve their stakeholders and citizens.
In this article, we highlight some of the common transformation challenges relating to data and discuss ways of addressing these
Data lifecycle in government digital transformation
One key aspect of government digital transformation is data management throughout its lifecycle. This includes ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information and being able to store, access, and analyze data effectively. Governments must also consider how to effectively manage and dispose of data as it reaches the end of its useful life – especially given that a sizeable part will likely contain personally identifiable information (PII) which holds significant risks given its value to criminals – especially given its use to bypass security measures (such as multi-factor authentication), impersonate legitimate individuals and gain access to financial resources to perpetrate fraud.
Cloud migration in the government
Migrating data to the cloud can offer several benefits for organizations. One major advantage is improved scalability and flexibility. Cloud services allow organizations to quickly scale up or down their storage and processing needs, depending on the volume and nature of their data. This can help to ensure that data is always available and accessible when needed. Migrating to cloud services also provides organizations with the ability (and often requirement – based on costs associated with cloud services) to review, consolidate, and dedupe data they own and control.
The importance of privacy in government bodies
Migrating data to the cloud is not without its challenges – ensuring the integrity and security of the data during and post-migration – especially given the required change in mindset needed as the data moves from a perceived secure on-premise environment. This includes implementing robust security measures, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication, to protect sensitive information, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, the German Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S.
Fraud prevention, detection, and investigation
Fraud prevention, detection, and investigation are important aspects of digital transformation for all organizations and government bodies to consider, with government bodies being a prime target due to the vast amount of personal and financial information they hold. Therefore, it is crucial to have multiple layers of security and monitoring to detect any suspicious activities that may indicate fraudulent activity (both internally by employees and externally by vendors and suppliers).
Many government organizations will already have processes in place to support internal (and external) investigations. With many already having access to digital forensic technologies, they must revisit these periodically to ensure that they are still ‘fit for purpose’ and take advantage of some of the recent technological enhancements such as automation or the use of artificial intelligence (AI), such as deep learning or natural language processing, and legislative changes as discussed above. These are particularly relevant when there is a need to support large and complex investigations – where data is typically held across multiple devices, endpoints, and platforms to identify and investigate data breaches, fraud, etc., proactively.
Effective & proactive data management solution
One crucial aspect of successfully navigating government digital transformation is the need for organizations to understand what data they have and where it is – as it is impossible to manage what you cannot find, as this recent article highlights – Officials admit record-keeping on CalMac ferries fiasco ‘inadequate’. When litigation inevitably happens, organizations often find gaps in their information and records management programs. Nuix is the technology that can help solve this problem, proactively managing information, and assisting in the classification and categorization to ensure organizations meet their legal and regulatory obligations.
Returning to a previous point, whilst many organizations clearly understand the value big data brings, they must also consider the risk it brings – especially concerning privacy and security aspects as part of any digital transformational program. Nuix has for the past twenty+ years worked with corporates, law enforcement, and government organizations, helping them turn messy data into actionable intelligence. We are building for the future to support the needs of our customers better. Our recent announcement of our next-generation AI-enabled platform, aimed at helping customers solve some of the most wicked problems at the core of any digital transformation program, including data privacy and fraud – is a testament to our philosophy of being a force for good.
First published in Open Access Government