Governments around the world are under pressure to transform their entire systems in order to improve delivery, increase efficiencies and, most importantly, improve transparency, accountability and reduce corruption. 

OAS drawing on its deep industry knowledge and expertise and applying it to the public sector has assisted a variety of government departments to improve core operations, network security, increased innovation and reform and in order improve overall end experience.

Governments around the world are all facing the same challengers, more so within the South African public sector. With many SA government departments embracing technology in an attempt to streamline their systems, they are facing a host of issues that need urgent attention:

  • Inefficient systems and the lack of technical skills to meet demand;
  • Due to a high level of mismanagement, lack of equipment maintenance and unskilled staff South Africa consumers are faced with highly inefficient or non-existence service;
  • Cyber-attacks are all too common within the public sector costing millions of rand every year;
  • Working conditions and access to information is cumbersome and time consuming further frustrating staff and consumer alike;
  • Lack of funding and expenditure control;
  • Staff apathy

The above highlight some of the issues the SA Government is facing and are looking to technology in an attempt to address at least some of these issues.

However, within the South African context, OAS has realized that the shortage skilled staff is the biggest hinderance to digital transformation. Government departments need, more than anything else, a partner to assist them in infrastructure optimization via a OAS managed services agreement. 

The next challenge is that government departments have implemented a variety of software solutions which in many cases are in conflict with the infrastructure’s underlying platform.

The solution is the Citric Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Citrix Infrastructure as Service (IaaS)

Citrix PaaS - delivers an accessible platform (including development tools, database management systems, servers, storage, and networking solutions) that enables users to build, test, deploy, manage, and update cloud-based applications.

Citrix IaaS - IaaS moves vital storage, networking, and computing resources to the cloud. Organizations using IaaS platforms can reduce the amount of money spent on buying and managing on-premises servers and datacenters. IaaS services are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, allowing organizations to scale their infrastructure up and down as needed.

If the Citrix solutions are implemented, it will facilitate the variety of systems/Sofware within an existing environment to operate in an unfired and optimal manor. However again, due to the serve lack of skills it is important that Governments partner with a suitable vendor via a Manage Service Partner agreement. OAS MSP can offer a full range of services from infrastructure audit and consulting right through to solution recommendation, implementation, deployment and on-going maintenance and support.

The second most important component that the SA Government infrastructure is lacking, is a comprehensive network security solution. In the past couple of years, we have seen several cyber-attacks on various Government departments causing millions of rands worth of damage.

In solving the security issue, Citrix offers one of the world’s leading Cyber Security solutions based on Citrix’s Zero Trust Network Access philosophy.

The solution offers to two major areas of protection:

External: - With remote access becoming the norm, the use of BOYD, accessing from any network has expanded the cyber threat attack surfice. Citrix Secure Access counteracts the treat by connecting users at the application level, making it easy to improve the security posture. In addition, the traditional replacing VPN security protocols with cloud delivered ZTNA, and CSA uses adaptive authentication and adaptive access policies based on device posture, location, and risk scores. Therefore, employees get to the resources they need, on the devices they want to use, keeping data secure.

Internal: Internal threats can be more problematic than external. Many reports of mismanagement, malicious employee behavior and potential theft and fraud shows that the internal threats are more costly and damaging than external.

Citrix Secure Access coupled Citrix Analytics for security can are designed to not only protect networks from external attacks but also to maintain a high level of security from Internal threats.

The solution not only requires adaptive authentication as described above, but can also assess, and prevent unwanted behavior. Analytics for security is design to monitor and assess user behavior, report any anomalies, and prevent malicious damage in real time.

Finally, the solution can also allow for user usage policies to be put in place so that only those employees who have permission to access certain information or applications will be allowed and a cyber paper trail can be developed in order to follow and pinpoint unauthorized access.

In conclusion the above highlights that the SA Government will need to develop a digital transformation strategy that is unified in the sense that all systems are compatible, invest in a comprehensive network security solution and employ the services of a managed service partner for the organization to successfully digitally transform to meet the demands of the public.