20 September 2016
For some years now, digital transformation has been a priority for the UK Government. And it isn’t just Westminster departments that are involved. Every Public Sector organisation, from county councils and libraries to the NHS and Police, is looking to improve, modernise and rapidly implement the many advances being made in the tech sector.
While an element of digital transformation is focused on device technology and ‘exemplar’ projects, the success of these change initiatives will rest on the efficiency, reliability and scalability of infrastructure – including telecommunications.
Without the right networks and connections that enable Public Sector workers to work harder and smarter, successful digital transformation is simply held back. This is why the future of Public Sector telephony will be cloud hosting, SIP trunking, improved data networks and comprehensive service wrap packages, to keep government going at all times.
Government in the cloud
Most Government or Public Sector services are not based at a single location. Bodies like Housing or NHS Trusts must work across counties, boroughs and cities. Because of that, it simply doesn’t make sense to rely on fixed infrastructure telephony – either on a financial or efficiency basis.
Infrastructure is expensive to install, and just becomes more so when it needs to be scaled up. Meanwhile, staff working on a line fixed to a single desk will inevitably find it tricky to work remotely, or across offices, when they can’t take that number with them.
Cloud hosting addresses both concerns. By alleviating the fixed-line, fixed-desk problem it enables Public Sector workers to take their number with them wherever they go, answering calls by their regular phone or a mobile. And, with a system that doesn’t rely on physical infrastructure, adding new lines for additional or contingent staff is as simple as a call to the provider and asking for a new number to be activated.
The SIP sector
It stands to reason that government organisations cannot endure any degree of downtime. For retailers, the loss of network service usually just means a loss of revenue and yet, for the Government, it can mean failure to provide an essential service to the general public, often at a critical time.
With that in mind, continuing to rely on fixed, ISDN infrastructure and systems cannot be the future for the Public Sector. Legacy systems damaged by the weather or long-term use can take days to come back online. With SIP trunking, systems can be more resilient in the first place, with immediate call re-routing across the network, or to alternate end devices.
The future’s all wrapped up
With new, technologically advanced systems comes the need to maintain them effectively. SIP trunking and cloud-hosting are future-ready solutions that will serve Public Sector telecommunications needs long into the next decade.
For that reason, many government organisations making the move to new systems are also looking for a support service from their provider. This ensures that support and maintenance is handled by experts, within stringint SLAs and that the organisation in question has full control of its outsourced service.
As we get closer to the 2025 ISDN switch off deadline, it’s becoming increasingly important that Public Sector organisations think about the future of their telephony. New technologies like SIP and cloud-hosting offer the robust, reliable systems that government bodies need to continue to transform and provide the general public with the superior services they rely on.
20 September 2016 | Sam Winterbottom
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.