Public sector shifts: from legacy tech to long-lasting latitude
In-depth on challenges and opportunities in government IT with HPE
Sponsored Post Government Tech Week at The Register means exploring big ideas with those close to public sector IT decision-making.
In that spirit, we sat down with Russell Macdonald, CTO of Public Sector and Hybrid Cloud at HPE to talk through what he has watched play out at government agencies infrastructure-wise - and how that is set to change in the year (and years) ahead.
The conversation is driven by recent research at HPE about the most pressing challenges facing public sector organizations: from the barriers posed by legacy infrastructure, the complications of smooth and secure data handling, and of course, working within the broader constraints of funding.
In its research, HPE has found a number of gaps that keep government IT organizations from moving at the speed of innovation. These include incompatibilities in hardware infrastructure as well as software that has been tuned only for specific on-prem environments; deep dependency chains in software ecosystems; and consequently, continued “sustainment” investments required to keep all of this going, even if the end result is not flexible.
The other major series of issues for governments struggling with modernization include security and policy constraints. From the use and management of personal data to legislative requirements that require only certain environments for critical data, the options for governments can feel limited. While cloud has increasingly entered the picture, it is not a simple “lift and shift” for all of these (and plenty of other) reasons.
In fact, there is a word for this position: “unconsciously hybrid” where instead of migrating from one environment to another, a public sector organization is unexpectedly managing both—a growing cloud presence with increasing costs as well as the (often fixed) costs of on-prem infrastructure and legacy contracts.
Check out the UK Public Sector Cloud strategy report which presents the findings of the UK Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the UK Public Sector regarding their cloud strategy here.
Ultimately, the choice to become “consciously hybrid” becomes a consideration, a move which is enabled by technologies including HPE Greenlake.
With HPE Greenlake, customers are able to provision on-prem infrastructure and pay for what they use on a monthly basis, with a minimum baseline commitment that is appropriate for their needs. HPE installs “buffer capacity” in advance of it being needed to ensure that customers have room for spontaneous growth, while only charging for the resources that are used.
This fundamentally changes the economics of on-prem infrastructure and aligns it more closely with the cloud paradigm, thus enabling customers to achieve better value for money by balancing their infrastructure provision across public cloud and on-premise hosting environments with greater cost transparency and flexibility.
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