Digital transformation essential to deliver ‘innovative public services’

29 Mar 2023

Image: © Fernando Cortés/

Ireland’s Connecting Government 2030 strategy aims to create ‘a trusted, human-driven, intuitive and inclusive, world-leading’ digital public sector. Here, George Maybury, from Dell Technologies Ireland, discusses the advantages of increased digitalisation of the public sector, and how the State can make progress towards this transformation.

The world around us continues to evolve with artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, 5G, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) improving how we communicate and exchange information. Increased digitalisation and the growing interconnectedness of people, organisations and machines is already having a profound impact on the Irish economy.

The Irish Government recognises the opportunities breakthrough technologies can unlock for the benefit of our economy and society. Increasingly, public policy is emphasising the role of digital in scaling up SMEs, advancing sustainability and engaging with citizens in new ways.

Public sector transformation

Today, technology is driving significant transformation within the public sector in Ireland, enabling the development of a digital economy and the delivery of improved citizen services. Connecting Government 2030 and the Digital Ireland framework provide a roadmap for how to harness new technologies and drive a step-change in how people and businesses interact with the State.

The Connecting Government 2030 strategy aims to build towards 90pc of public services being consumed online. There is a growing recognition within the public sector that this growth will be driven by the increasing adoption of cloud computing, big data analytics and the evolution of 5G edge computing.

But what are the building blocks that could help support these efforts and ensure digital transformation is at the heart of public services?

As the Government continues its digital transformation journey, there are a handful of practical focus areas which can help it on this journey.

Generate value through flexibility and data

One is the development of a hybrid workforce within the public sector which has responsive, on-demand, robust IT services that underpin a positive work environment and collaboration across Government. This can also involve a mix of mobile and office-based workers, so that civil and public servants are able to work productively from anywhere.

Making better use of data assets can also spur innovation. Currently, data is not harnessed often enough by policymakers to gain insights into the changing needs of citizens. For example, purpose-designed data storage and processing provide an opportunity to simplify and secure data management within our healthcare system and help healthcare professionals to make better decisions for their patients.

Build security and trust

Another key building block is security and trust. Organisations in both the private and public sectors in Ireland are facing ever-evolving threats that are putting at risk vital services for citizens and businesses.

Digitalisation provides citizens with ease of access to public data and services but trust in the security of IT solutions is vital. This is why placing this critical data in a secure and intelligent vault will help ensure it is isolated, can’t be modified and can be quickly recovered in the event of an attack – enabling services to get up and running quickly again.

Through our advisory services and security solutions, our team at Dell Technologies Ireland are supporting public sector organisations to tackle their toughest security challenges and enhance their cyber resilience.

Digital transformation in action

One of the key benefits of technology in the public sector is the ability to deliver improved citizen services. There are more and more examples of organisations and technologists in Ireland coming together to provide online access to government services, such as renewing driver’s licenses and paying taxes. This not only makes it easier for citizens to access services, but also reduces travel costs and commuting time to government offices.

In the education field, the growing collaboration between third level institutes and businesses is delivering measurable results for researchers. Through its partnership with Dell, Munster Technological University has created a new AI platform powered by a supercomputer. The platform is helping students and researchers with advanced AI modelling that has the capacity to help transform Ireland’s economy and society.

Preparing for the future

Looking ahead, new technologies that were once only a concept are now coming to life. Take the potential for Digital Twin technology. A digital twin is the digital copy of an asset. By running simulations on this digital asset, IT scientists and researchers can study it and predict real-world outcomes based on changes in its digital operating conditions. This innovation is enabling healthcare institutions to meet pressing challenges, from personalising healthcare to combatting patient wait times.

Winning in the digital economy requires a combination of technical understanding, pioneering leadership, and a sense of vision and determination to encourage an ecosystem of innovation. Government leaders in Ireland who engage with these possibilities today can shape the digital economies of tomorrow.

By putting digital transformation at the heart of public services and delivering on the promises of the Connecting Government 2030 plan, Ireland can lead the way in delivering innovative public services that meet the evolving needs of a changing society.

By George Maybury

George Maybury stands looking at the camera. He has short, fair hair and wears a black suit jacket and a light blue shirt. He is leaning against a brick wall and greenery is visible behind him.

George Maybury. Image: Jason McCarthy

George Maybury is public sector director for Ireland and Northern Ireland at Dell Technologies Ireland. He has over 15 years senior leadership experience in the IT industry and has previously worked in the technology sector in both Belfast and London. He is a graduate of Technological University Dublin. 

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