UKCloud launches data practice in support of National Data Strategy

UKCloud, the multi-cloud experts dedicated to making transformation happen across the UK public sector, has announced the launch of its specialist Strategic Data Practice to unlock the potential of UK public sector data, drive innovation and improve public services.

A few weeks ago, the government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) published an insightful report that aims to assist public sector organisations to unlock the value of their data.

This report identified the following issues:

  • Lack of incentives to share data.
  • Lack of knowledge around the value or availability of data.
  • Reputational and regulatory risks.
  • 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 UK to drive innovation, boost productivity, create new businesses and jobs, and deliver 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.

These are essential foundations to set before organisations can digitalise and begin to use innovative tooling, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), to drive greater levels of insight.

In many instances, this is not possible due to the lack of skills and legacy IT infrastructure which inhibits innovation.

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

Given that data is the ‘golden thread’ throughout all these digital initiatives, UKCloud’s launch of its Strategic Data Practice will help provide that much needed guidance and help bridge the skills gap, enabling public sector organisations to take their initiatives from idea to reality.

Commenting, Suzanne Constable, a Deputy Director in Strategic Transformation at a government arms-length body said.

“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.”

UKCloud’s Strategic Data Practice is founded on three key principles:

  • Action: Organisations need to begin by building the digital foundations, which will improve their operational resilience. UKCloud’s 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.
  • Ambition: UKCloud provides the skills and resources that an organisation needs to envisage, design and execute the right data, cloud and digital strategies to make transformation happen. By harnessing the value of data, UKCloud helps organisations realise the potential outcomes that will better UK citizens, such as advanced telemedicine, Warfighter training and digital twins.
  • Social Value: From paying taxes to offering carbon neutral solutions, everything UKCloud does can be traced back to its commitment to do the right thing. The Strategic Data Practice builds skills and jobs both inside its organisation and across the UK public sector, with a broadened Professional Services team in-house and an education programme to enable customers and partners.

UKCloud’s New Strategic Data Practice Lead, Steve Russell added:

“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.

“Our Strategic Data Practice builds on UKCloud’s enviable track record, having hosted impressive data platforms across healthcare, education, defence and critical national infrastructure.

“[It] 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.”

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