Covid-19 has driven an “exponential boost” in the adoption of cloud among public sector organisations, according to Julia Glidden, chief vice president of worldwide public sector for Microsoft, in an interview at the Smart City Expo World Congress, which was held online this week.
“Even before the crisis, it had been predicted that public sector cloud adoption would outpace commercial adoption for the first time,” said Glidden. “But what Covid-19 did was inject an exponential boost in the pace of adoption, as the risk of doing nothing became greater than the risk of doing something. For example, Shared Services Canada [the IT agency for the Canadian government] took a three-year plan for cloud rollout that was already in place and instead implemented it in a week. That rapid deployment was possible because of the hard work that had gone before, including the building of a trusted relationship between Microsoft and its partners.”
Glidden also predicted that the public sector will remain permanently changed after the pandemic subsides.
“We will not go back to a world in which our services are not accessible digitally,” she said. “But at the same time, we need to maintain the humanity, and not take humans out of the delivery of services just because we can. I would highlight the way in which the deployment of HoloLens has enabled senior doctors in Israel to continue treating patients without risking their own health or enabled immersive training across the NHS in the UK. That type of technology is inspirational, and points to an entirely new path for healthcare and how we care for each other.”
Sign up for Smart City Live 2020 to access the full video interview with Julia Giddens on the Tomorrow.City website.