Contributed by: Michael Crowley, EMEA Director, Public Sector and Healthcare, VMware
We’re in uncharted territory. As the world wrestles with the vice-like grip of the recent pandemic, governments are under a pressure the likes of which we have never seen.
Daily measures, plans and protocols are being put in place but are constantly changing in reaction to the gravity, and impact of the virus. Government departments are being swamped. From core supplies to saving lives they need to come up with quick answers to big problems – at speeds unheard of – and the uncertainty this is causing is stifling. But they also recognise their responsibilities of health and citizen safety extend to protecting critical infrastructure and keep it running.
The resiliency of these services, from electricity and water, to our networks, finance, healthcare and security, to the distribution of government services, will be testament to solid insights, good decision-making and technology.
Keeping infrastructure moving
We’re seeing evidence of this already, most notably in the front-line of healthcare. From medical students and retired doctors being drafted into support the health service, private sector donations of beds and a push on the manufacturing industry to produce medical equipment to cope with demand. All of which requires fluidity and rapidity of transaction.
Business routines have been massively disrupted with a huge spike in remote working, e-learning materials are in record demand as parents are temporarily required to home-educate their children and distribution of supply is being tested as shelves are stripped bare. All of this is leaving people no option but to flock to online. And the unprecedented demand is seeing network systems crash or online companies suspend business temporarily.
In addition to the human, business and cultural strain, the knock-on impact of the pandemic is putting significant pressure on IT.
Technology can help
Government departments and businesses absolutely must be able to mobilise people and resources, share data and facilitate the movement of information or goods. Technology doesn’t have all the answers for this, but it can help. From moving medical and public service personnel to desired locations, providing individuals the ability to work remotely or platforms for the scientific community to share critical up to the minute information, the key is having a single view of the resources that are available – to deliver extra resources and connecting all the different players in the system whether it be healthcare, security or supply.
It’s not something all the actors in this situation are able to do because the technology isn’t in place – but that’s something that can be addressed.
Leverage the cloud
This is where a hybrid cloud is pertinent. Put simply it enables teams and organisations to get access to IT firepower, services and applications and view this all through one lense. This is important because it provides the visibility to ensure resources can be moved at the point of crisis. It also establishes connections to deliver a common policy for things like real-time patient numbers, scientific developments and public communication messages. It also means applications can be developed quickly and securely like, for example, where information of patients can be shared.
Digital workspaces, all enabled through software, can give healthcare workers or essential Government service department worker access to their applications – securely – through a single log-in. Thereby being able to continue to deliver citizen services remotely.
Turning to the cloud means that organisations don’t have to deal with the complexity of getting additional resources into the data center to scale-up infrastructure or deal with an additional bandwidth – it’s just a connection to a data center with the overall performance delivered out of the cloud. Virtualized Windows desktops and applications can then effectively be delivered to any device, anytime. Similarly, departments can quickly tap into the hybrid cloud at a click of a button through services such as VMware cloud on AWS – providing a bridge to their private cloud and the public cloud, with consistent security, management and operations, and scale up and down for the duration of the time needed.
Let us help
The artistry of working in software is that we are built to be nimble and reactive. We can scale, we can be responsive – and provide solutions securely. Intrinsic security is vital, as without this, speed and scale are pointless – and could indeed be dangerous.
Today isn’t the time to be thinking of tomorrow’s IT requirements. But it is the time to look at what can be done to help solve the biggest challenge the world has faced in many generations. For any department, government organisation or business that is looking for help, then get in touch. We want to do our bit to ensure we’re all pulling in the same direction.
For more information, please see our business continuity page here.