The public sector is facing tighter budgets under the new government. Local authority bodies are looking to move as many services as possible online, to improve accessibility and cut costs.
As services move online, the IT systems that support them become more important.
If online services go down for any reason, users cannot access their services and must use other channels to get things done. For resellers, the business opportunity is therefore around availability of online public services, and providing the right continuity plan to keep these services up and running.
The other challenge is that business continuity is only seen as providing value when a disaster has occurred: if a server blows up or the network goes down. Yet the right recovery strategy can also boost business agility and reduce costs, especially alongside virtualisation or cloud computing.
Implementing any new systems to deliver services is also a significant challenge in itself, with a potential impact on service delivery during the move.
For the public sector channel, virtualisation is a good example here. The process of migrating to a new server, virtualisation or storage platform can add costs, especially during the transition period if users cannot access their applications or data.
The opportunity around virtualisation is therefore how to shorten these windows of downtime and keep users productive.
Business continuity investments can help during such large-scale projects. The right approach can also let users keep working during the switchover.
Eventually, virtualisation and cloud computing may offer public sector organisations further cost-reduction opportunities. Initiatives such as the Government’s proposed G-Cloud mean that migrating whole workloads to and from the cloud will become important.
The channel should be thinking about using new resources – such as the G-cloud – for additional continuity support, or to run services in the cloud in the event of local systems not being available. Understanding expected shifts in public sector strategy and how local needs for IT compare to national programmes will offer the best opportunity for consultancy and sales.
Ian Masters is UK sales director of Double-Take Software
Contingency plans follow Carillion's demise earlier this year
Oliver Tuszik says partners can boost subscription sales by taking a customer experience-led approach
Firm says enterprise business has performed 'weaker than originally expected'
Top executives from nine VARs, including Computacenter, Bell Integration, XMA, ANS and Epaton, weigh in on which server, storage and networking technologies will be red hot next year