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Public sector needs to embrace availability

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Following the completion of the South African Budget speech in Parliament, it is clear that government is striving to create an enabling environment for its citizens.
Gregg Petersen, regional director for the Middle East and Africa and the South Asian Association for regional co-operation at Veeam, takes a look at how an Always-On approach will be key to facilitating a high availability public sector geared to meet the needs of all its stakeholders.
“In terms of requirements, there is not much to differentiate between private and public sector requirements. Both government and corporates have started the migration to the modern data centre requiring a high level of up-time. In our experience, the biggest differentiator revolves around planning and modernisation initiatives,” says Petersen.
He believes that the private sector is more mature than government when it comes to implementation around the modern data centre.
“Fortunately, government is seriously investigating these components and has indicated that it wants to leverage modern technology and vendors to realise cost savings. In addition, this will also lead to improved service level agreements for business critical applications which will result in a much nimbler and embracing public sector.”
According to the 2016 Veeam Global Availability Report, those organisations looking to invest in their data centre cite enabling 24/7 ‘always-on’ business operations (68 percent), lowering operational costs for IT (65%) and strengthening security and control (60%) as the main drivers. Only 45% consider providing a fast and efficient IT service for their end-users as a driver behind the modernisation of their data centre.
And while the public sector is no worse off than the private sector when it comes to running legacy solutions, changes in compliance and regulatory requirements mean government should be leading the charge for change.
“Government is enforcing new regulation, and should be championing for an Always-On approach. In many respects, there is a need to set the example for public sector departments and companies across South Africa to follow. The South African, and other, governments need to adopt and accept the move to the modern data centre in order for them to adapt quicker in terms of deployment and consolidation. This will lead to improved actions with more successful results.”
He adds that with government wanting citizens to have access and information to services online, the Always-On approach will enable it to streamline its ability to transact and have available data.
“For its part, government has to look towards partnering with modern vendors that can guarantee high-speed recovery of less than 15 minutes in order for citizens to have access to always available data. It is a connected world in which we live and citizens have come to expect access to information at any time, using any device. This environment requires a public sector that is willing to embrace change and foster an Always-On culture,” he concludes.