Magazine Button
Governments train their digital gaze on high-performing systems

Governments train their digital gaze on high-performing systems

AustralasiaGovernmentInsightsTop Stories

Digital Transformation touches an ever-growing number of Australian Government services. Hope Powers, Vice President – ANZ, Dynatrace, tells us it’s now time to focus on the observability of those services to improve their reliability and uptime.

Hope Powers, Vice President – ANZ, Dynatrace

Most stories about Digital Transformation over the past two years have focused on the progress of private enterprise, where – as McKinsey notes – adoption of digital accelerated the equivalent of five years in just a few weeks.

However, arguably the more impressive work on Digital Transformation was – and continues to be – seen in the public sector. That effort has been seen in multiple geographies, including in Australia.

Australia has been on a long trajectory to Digital Transformation. Even by 2015, Deloitte Access Economics estimated that around 60% of transactions with federal agencies in Australia were being completed in digital channels, and it noted substantial upsides in driving that figure higher.

“If the around 40% [of transactions] that are still completed via traditional (non-digital) channels … could be reduced to 20% over a 10-year period, Deloitte Access Economics estimated productivity, efficiency and other benefits to government worth around $17.9 billion (in real terms), along with savings in time, convenience and out-of-pocket costs to citizens worth a further $8.7 billion,” it said at the time.

Substantial progress has been made since then, but in particular over the past two years, through the previous Federal Government’s 745-day effort that was described at the end of 2021 as ‘exhausting’.

Australians now hold over 20 million accounts used to access over 80 government services via online channels. Behind the scenes, the government also ‘embraced an integrated technology and investment plan based on reuse, a set architecture and the ‘citizen at the center’.’

Just an observation

This increased pace of digital delivery is proving permanent. Once citizens are turned on to new digital ways of interacting with governments, few will want to go back to old ways.

This is both good and bad news for public sector IT bosses. Good because it offers a tremendous opportunity to deliver public services more efficiently and cost effectively, but bad in that customer expectations are already sky-high. Continued innovation and transformation are the only way forward.

As citizens’ expectations continue to rise and more users shift online, finite government IT teams will need to focus their efforts on extending their observability into cloud-native environments to ensure user experiences are both seamless and secure.

Observability in the cloud is critical because, not only do these environments power the majority of today’s digital services, but they also produce a level of complexity that’s surpassed human ability to manage.

It all boils down to a very simple notion: you can’t manage what you can’t see. It may be a simple concept, but it’s a far more difficult thing to do in practice, given the rising complexity and scope of dynamic cloud environments.

We’re talking about potentially thousands of digital services and millions or even billions of dependencies that might change in milliseconds. That’s a lot of data to process in real-time to identify and remediate any issues before they impact the citizen.

The proliferation of microservices, containers, serverless architectures and orchestration platforms only serve to compound these challenges.

This is precisely why observability, rooted in automation and intelligence, is an essential foundation for digital government service optimization, enhanced IT performance and improved citizen outcomes.

AI makes an observable difference

Observability today is something that many organizations – government and private sector alike – still don’t have a proper handle on.

A recent survey of 700 global enterprise and public sector CIOs found 89% do not have full observability into their application and infrastructure environments, and 87% lack end-to-end observability into application and website user experience.

Around half (49%) of these global CIOs also say they have limited visibility into how digital services are performing from a user perspective.

More than two-thirds recognize the need for a radically different approach to observability as they drive Digital Transformation further than ever before.

This is why organizations are increasingly turning to AI and automation to achieve end-to-end observability at scale.

These efforts must begin with automatically discovering and mapping all the components and dependencies of the technology stack – from the underlying infrastructure to networks, hosts, processes, services, apps and websites.

Next, AI can go to work learning what ‘normal’ looks like, determining whether a problem is likely to impact users, and then performing root-cause analysis to help IT teams understand what went wrong.

These same insights could in time be used to optimize digital experiences, automate cloud operations and free up the time of developers to focus on value creation rather than routine tasks.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent CIO APAC

View Magazine Archive