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The capabilities government leaders need as they manage the cloud’s data explosion

As public-sector and government organizations use cloud-native technologies, the corresponding data explosion has surpassed the human ability to manage. This makes it harder to observe and analyze data across a distributed technology stack.  

A new Dynatrace report highlights the challenges for government and public-sector organizations as they increasingly rely on cloud-native  architectures—and a corresponding data explosion. This shift makes it harder to monitor, observe, and analyze data across a distributed technology stack.

The “2022 Dynatrace CIO Report: Government and Public Sector” surveyed 150 IT leaders within large government and public-sector organizations worldwide to understand their challenges as they accelerate their migration to the cloud and which critical capabilities they needed to be successful in their journeys and deliver on their mission.

The data demonstrates the challenges new technological approaches have created for governments and public-sector organizations, as 75% of CIOs confirm that the explosion of data due to cloud-native technology stacks has surpassed the human ability to manage.

Complex and quick: The data explosion challenge

Citizens’ growing demands and expectations for instant, reliable access to government programs and services — from anywhere and at any time — have driven government and public-sector organizations to adopt modern cloud environments that offer the agility and flexibility to adapt to their changing needs.   But these new technologies are becoming increasingly complex to manage, as CIOs in the sector confirm that a single application transaction crosses 41 different technologies.

Additionally, organizations must keep pace with the evolution of their IT environment. 92% of respondents said that their IT environment changes every minute or less.

These challenges make it difficult for IT leaders within the sector to consistently deliver the best, most secure applications for seamless citizen engagements and service delivery.

“The rapid transformations that happened within government bodies and public-sector organizations during the pandemic have set a high bar for the proficiency of digital services demanded by citizens,” said Willie Hicks, public sector chief technologist at Dynatrace. “There is, consequently, more pressure on IT teams to deliver this change. But it has become too difficult to query huge volumes of log and metrics data and retain the context of this information, which is vital to delivering and improving services for citizens.”

A lack of visibility into cloud environments

Distributed architectures create another challenge for governments and public-sector organizations. On average, IT, development, and security teams in the sector rely on nine different monitoring tools to maintain visibility into performance and availability. Each new cloud technology requires a separate tool, and each tool requires different skills to use and interpret the data.

Overall, 53% of IT leaders say the number of tools needed to monitor the end-to-end technology stack makes it difficult to operate efficiently. When issues arise, teams can’t depend on these tools for quick resolutions, because data comparisons are difficult and contribute to delays.  Furthermore, despite all those tools, government organizations currently have end-to-end observability into just 10% of their technology stack, which causes operational blind spots for IT, security, and development teams.

IT leaders recognize the increasing difficulty for teams to query high volumes of log data and retain the context of that data required to drive meaningful value for citizen engagements and the wider mission.  To that effect, more than half (54%) of government and public-sector CIOs say their current approach to data ingest and storage for full-stack observability will not support the future needs of their organization.  According to the survey, the key challenges CIOs face in unlocking greater value from observability data include the unavailability of data for analytics on demand (56%), inability to keep the data that is deemed critical in hot storage due to the cost (40%), and centralizing log management because it is difficult and time-consuming (35%).

Without benefitting from the wider context that data analytics at scale provides, teams within governments and public-sector bodies are unable to determine where to focus their efforts and which potential issues are more urgent than others.

A new approach for the digital age

The pursuit of a better solution to process and understand huge volumes of complex data is leading government and public-sector organizations to adopt a more automated approach to operations and security, supported by AISecOps. This process combines AI with security and operations. Alongside end-to-end observability, it provides actionable answers into vulnerabilities and operational issues using advanced analytics, in real time, and the automation capabilities to quickly resolve them.

With this insight, organizations can ensure their digital applications and cloud-based services can deliver frictionless interactions to their citizens, increasing satisfaction and trust. In fact, some 96% of CIOs also confirm that AIOps and automation are key to alleviating the skills shortage and reducing burnout among teams.

To underline the impact, IT leaders across the sector estimate their staff could save 38% of the time they currently use to keep the lights on across IT operations by adopting automation.

For more insights into the challenges government CIOs face and their recommendations on overcoming them, download the ”2022 Dynatrace CIO Report: Government and Public Sector.

Cloud complexity is a growing issue for government agencies as they embark on digital transformation journeys. The Dynatrace platform is capable of providing the depth of software intelligence needed to simplify cloud complexity and accelerate agencies’ digital transformation so they can seamlessly deliver citizen services, increasing satisfaction and trust.  Learn more here.