Editorial

UKCloud launches Strategic Data Practice in support of National Data Strategy

UKCloud’s new Strategic Data Practice aims to help public sector achieve digital transformation

Posted 2 September 2021 by Christine Horton


UKCloud has launched a specialist Strategic Data Practice “to unlock the potential of UK public sector data, drive innovation, and improve public services.”

The firm cites a recent report by the Government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). It identified a lack of incentives to share data, lack of knowledge around the value or availability of data, reputational and regulatory risks, as well as missed opportunities to use data in the public interest.

The Government’s National Data Strategy examines how responsible and efficient data sharing and access can unlock the vast potential of data in the United Kingdom to drive innovation, boost productivity, create new businesses and jobs, and deliver much needed improvements to public services.

Organisations are at different stages of their digital journey, and many require guidance to digitise legacy records in the first instance, for example, patient records or digital evidence. In many instances though, this is not possible due to the lack of skills and legacy IT infrastructure which inhibits innovation, says the firm.

UKCloud’s State of Digital and Data report found that only half (52 percent) of those surveyed believe they have the resources necessary to understand and drive efficiencies from the data they have, meaning they can’t determine its true value nor do they have the time to innovate.

UKCloud says its Strategic Data Practice will help provide “much needed guidance and help bridge the skills gap – enabling public sector organisations to take their initiatives from idea to reality.”

“UKCloud’s Data Practice team have lifted the ‘dark-art’ veil off data analytics and embedded the concept into our organisational strategic planning. Using their knowledge and enthusiasm, we have honed our strategy and identified the possibilities of what data analytics could do. Their methodology makes a difficult subject much more accessible and now forms part of our key strategic documentation. As relative newcomers to data analytics, the guidance received from UKCloud has been invaluable,” said Suzanne Constable, deputy director strategic transformation at a government Arms-Length Body (ALB)

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UKCloud said the Strategic Data Practice provides full data assessments, an audit of the current estate, and recommendations to enhance security and mitigate risk whilst optimising strategic data pathways.

By harnessing the value of data, kit says it helps organisations realise the potential outcomes that will better UK citizens such as advanced telemedicine, Warfighter training, and digital twins.

Additionally,the Practice builds skills and jobs both inside its organisation and across UK Public Sector with a broadened Professional Services team in house and an education programme to enable customers and partners.

“We’ve seen from our recent State of Digital and Data Report that public sector organisations seem to lack a clear understanding of their IT estates,” said Steve Russell, UKCloud’s Strategic Data Practice lead.

“Our Strategic Data Practice builds on UKCloud’s enviable track-record, having hosted impressive data platforms across healthcare, education, defence and critical national infrastructure and has been created to enable organisations to bridge the deficit in internal skills so that they can begin their transformation journey from a solid strategic digital and data foundation.”