UK digital change will happen when data meets the cloud, promises Oracle

‘Freeing that up in the right, safe way could be the real key to the Digital Transformation we all want to see with public service delivery,’ says firm’s UK Head of Public Sector

Posted 21 September 2017 at 9:13am by

The biggest opportunity – and challenge – facing the UK public sector? It has to be what happens when all the data we have meets the Cloud, believes Oracle.

That was one of the main messages from a special on-stage discussion at last Friday’s successful Think Digital Government 2017 between independent commentator Stuart Lauchlan of web news service diginomica.com and the Oracle executive tasked with helping the sector make that transition, Stuart Provan.

“The sector holds immense amounts of information about us all in all our systems of record,” Provan, Head of Public Sector at Oracle UK, told Lauchlan in the first of the conference’s ‘Digital Dialogues’.

“Freeing that up in the right, safe way could be the real key to the Digital Transformation we all want to see with public service delivery.”

But that freeing up has to be done properly, Provan is convinced, expressing special concern about the way some digital government reformers have tended to ignore legacy and transformational systems.

“Just because that IT is ‘old’, doesn’t mean it’s ‘bad’,” he pointed out to an audience of public sector digital practitioners.

“Accessing that wealth of data in a new way – for example, patient data on a tablet – can be just as transformative, and useful, as building a new online front-end,” he said.

Provan also called for more widespread sharing of public sector success stories, especially on this critical area of legacy data being opened up via techniques like the cloud.

“We need more examples, and not just from vendors like Oracle, of the potential of this wave of data and cloud-based innovation,” he concluded.

“Maybe we need a bit more ‘show’ of success, and a lot less vendor ‘tell’.”