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Public sector digital trends 2023 collection | Article

Pressures on technology infrastructure

A number of CIOs report the importance of upgrading and expanding the capacity of their networks and processing centres to accommodate growth in use since the Covid pandemic.  With expanding use of data and new technologies such as AI, the demands placed on existing public services technology infrastructures will continue to increase. Investment will be needed to cope with these growing demands. In the UK, this will also include more detailed planning and migration from public service networks (PSN) to future networks for government (FN4G).

The continuing increase of mobile and flexible working, and greater adoption of digital self-service, will mean that the poor Wi-Fi, mobile or broadband coverage in some areas will demand intervention, if digital take-up is to expand in ways that are inclusive. As discussed earlier in this report and in our previous trend analyses, the importance of focusing on areas with poor connectivity is often neglected in the excitement over the introduction of 5G networks.

Additionally, CIOs in 2023 will need to consider when and where growing demands for innovations in data processing and analysis take place, particularly where these involve divergent and large data sets. Opportunities to utilise on (or near) premise edge computing models and services will arise in order to respond to these demands and to generate the trust required in future technology and data services.

In 2023 public services will also need to consider infrastructure resilience in general, both under their control and where there is dependency externally.  Hybrid cloud models (see below) will persist for some time, with CIOs reporting genuine fear and reluctance simply to move all workloads to the public cloud.

Scope of options for hybrid cloud:

Existing on-site infrastructure will be increasingly focused on essential local processing where it is more effective, safer, manageable or simply lower cost to remain managed that way

Private cloud will be a common business model, although not all examples will be truly ‘cloud’. The benefits are seen as lower cost, lower risk, less fragmentation of data sets

Public cloud will continue to grow as systems are re-purposed effectively for cloud operation and where compliance, data independence, complexity and risks are addressed.

Case study

UK Government – investing in future networking technologies

DCMS pledges £110 million for work on 5G and 6G (

The UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced a funding package that includes £110m on next generation 5G and 6G wireless technology and telecoms, including the provision of £28 million to three universities to develop 6G network technology and £80 million to set up a UK Telecoms Lab for testing network equipment.