AI drives public sector migration to cloud

Moving to the cloud is a priority for the majority of public sector agencies as they seek to leverage cloud-enabled AI, according to a recent survey by a public sector tech provider.

John Wallace

The survey by Relativity found 75 per cent of agencies anticipate transitioning to cloud in the next three years – but the company says they may not be moving quickly enough.

“Agencies are seeking to leverage the power, security and flexibility of cloud to be more data enabled and insights driven,” says APAC government advisor John Wallace, who has worked as a CDO with law enforcement agencies in Australia and overseas.

Cloud also provides significant benefits in relation to how agencies can securely capture, store and utilise their data, including through the application of analytics and the latest innovations in AI, Mr Wallace says.

In fact most new AI applications, including generative AI, are largely dependent on the cloud.

However Mr Wallace says increasing security challenges will accompany the move towards cloud-enabled generative AI, and the public sector needs to build resilience to what’s an increasingly sophisticated array of cyber and data threats.  

“Three-to-five years is simply too long when I look down the road at how the rate of proliferating data and cyber-attacks could impact agency priorities and outcomes will impact agency missions.

“Moving to the cloud forms part of the armour that is needed. So, too, are robust cyber security and data governance frameworks, which are not ‘set and forget’ and must evolve in line with complexities of the data and technology landscape,” he says. 

Government releases AI insights brief

Commenting last September ahead of the release of an APS briefing paper on AI, public Service Minister Katy Gallagher said the technology will become integrated into many, if not all government services.

The Insights Briefing, released on Monday, says artificial intelligence has the potential to transform public service delivery and lead to a better experience and outcome for the community, but it doesn’t come without risks, including risks around privacy and security.

“Using AI for public service delivery is not risk free,” the paper says.

“Complex AI systems might behave unpredictably, causing unintended outcomes at a scale and speed that are hard to control.”

  Mr Wallace says for tech companies like Relativity and public sector cloud adopters, 2024 will be an exciting year.

“If the rate of change and innovation over the past one-two years in relation to public sector agencies transitioning to cloud and innovating with AI, particularly generative AI, is anything to go by, I’m very excited at the prospect of what 2024 and beyond may hold,” he says.

“When we framed our public sector survey in the early months of 2023, generative AI was, for many, not much more than a concept that we were striving to understand, in terms of its functionality and use case applications.

“How quickly it is becoming embedded, not only in our narrative, but increasingly in the ways we do business and go about our lives.”  

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