Data Management

Modernizing Data Architectures in the Public Sector: Challenges and Solutions

Tim Williams

May 7, 2024

Modernizing Data Architectures

In our current digital landscape where trusted and integrated data plays an increasingly critical role for business success, the public sector is facing a significant challenge—how to modernize their data architecture to connect and share data. Strategic modernization is needed to manage the ever-growing volumes of diverse data while ensuring quality, efficient service delivery to meet the changing needs of government employees, citizens, and other stakeholders.

Relying on legacy systems in the public sector can lead to problems such as:

  • An inability to scale to meet current and future data needs
  • A lack of integration capabilities creates barriers to data sharing
  • Manual processes cause inefficiencies and increase the risk of errors
  • Limited data accessibility leads to delays in data-driven processes
  • Analysts don’t trust siloed data, hindering decision making
  • An increased risk of cybersecurity threats and breaches

To solve these challenges and foster a data-driven culture, public sector organizations must move away from antiquated technologies to a modern, agile infrastructure. This will allow every person and every application that needs timely and accurate data to easily access it.

 Embrace Hybrid Cloud Solutions as a First Step

One proven solution to data challenges is to implement hybrid cloud technologies. These technologies span third-party cloud services and on-premises infrastructure. Organizations benefit from the ultra-fast scalability, cost advantages, and efficiency of the cloud while also optimizing on-prem investments.

A hybrid approach lets organizations transition to the cloud at their own pace as part of their modernization efforts, while benefitting from apps or systems that run best on-premises. A gradual migration also helps minimize disruption and maintains data integrity.

For example, in the UK, local councils and even large government organizations are accustomed to siloed systems that require manual input and ongoing employee intervention to bring the silos together. These fragmented systems cause inefficiencies compared to modern and automated processes. This necessitates a shift to responsive systems that can handle organizations’ modern data needs.

Moving to the cloud can be complex due to legacy systems being deeply entrenched in operational processes and storing essential data. To make the migration as smooth as possible, organizations need to use a hybrid cloud data platform and work with an experienced vendor that has experience in data integration.

Make Data Integration and Data Access Completely Seamless

To be a modern and digital-first organization, public sector agencies must have the ability to integrate disparate data sources from a myriad of systems and bring data out of organizational silos. The data must then be made available to employees at all skill levels. Select data also needs to be made available to citizens and other organizations. The data can then be utilized for everything from informing decision-making to forming policies.

Modernizing systems and infrastructure can be more economical, too. Legacy systems may seem financially advantageous in the short term, but over time, maintenance costs, downtime, and barriers to using data will quickly increase the total cost of ownership (TCO). A strategic and well-executed modernization plan supported by advanced data management technologies can reduce overall operational costs, automate processes, gain public trust, and accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

Ongoing modernization efforts should include a plan to integrate advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and generative AI. This helps public organizations bring together systems and technologies to build a fully connected ecosystem that makes it easy to integrate, manage, and share data, and support new use cases.

It’s worth noting that for AI and GenAI initiatives to be successful, organizations must first ensure their data is ready. This means the data is prepared and has the quality needed to drive trusted outcomes. Training an AI model on inaccurate, untrustworthy data will produce unreliable results.

Take a Future-Looking Approach to Connecting Data

A comprehensive data management strategy enables public sector organizations to predict and quickly respond to changes, make integrated data actionable, and better meet the needs of the public. Like their counterparts in the private sector, public organizations need to prioritize their modernization efforts. They also need to stay current on technological advancements and integrate the ones that meet the specific needs of their organization.

By adopting scalable, secure, and integrated data management solutions, the public sector can pave the way for a more efficient, responsive, connected, and data-driven future. Actian can help with these efforts. The Actian Data Platform allows organizations to easily connect data and build new pipelines. The platform can integrate into an organization’s existing infrastructure to meet their changing needs, including providing real-time data access at scale.

The platform simplifies today’s complex data environment by breaking down siloes, providing a unified approach to data, and bringing together data from diverse sources. In addition, the modern platform helps future-proof organizations by offering comprehensive data services spanning data integration, management, and accessibility. These capabilities facilitate a data-driven approach, enabling quick, reliable decisions across the public sector.

Our new eBook “Accelerate a Digital Transformation in the UK Public Sector” offers proven approaches to help organizations meet their need for a modern infrastructure that connects data, ensures quality, and builds trust in the data. The eBook can help the public sector achieve new levels of automation and modernization to enable intelligent growth, faster outcomes, and digital services.

Tim Williams

About Tim Williams

Tim is a seasoned Account Director who dedicates his efforts to advising and enabling organizations to succeed in rapidly generating business value from their data. His expertise spans from data governance and improving data quality to unifying data across many data sources to provide real-time analytics. Tim works with a broad range of businesses both in the enterprise and SMB space but maintains a special focus on public sector and the unique challenges specific to government entities.