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Supporting the UK’s Ambitious Government Transformation Strategy

Swaroop Sham
Swaroop Sham
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Security

All over the world, governments are developing ambitious digital transformation strategies to provide better public services more efficiently and cost effectively. The UK government is no exception. In fact, it’s Government Transformation Strategy is one of the most far-reaching projects of its kind, aiming to use a £450m budget to save £3.5bn by the end of 2020, whilst continually improving services for employees, partners and citizens.

Identity sits at the very heart of these plans, with the government aiming to have 25 million users of its GOV.UK Verify service by 2020. Yet security, compliance, financial and other challenges abound. The only way to overcome these and deliver much-needed benefits is to embrace identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) in the form of the Okta Identity Cloud.

Under pressure to deliver

For the Government Transformation Strategy to work, citizens, partners and civil servants need to be securely connected to the right resources and services. But doing so is complicated by

  • Cost pressures: These have been exacerbated by the impact of Brexit on the pound and the fact that public funds are being diverted to focus on leaving the EU.
  • Time pressures: With budgets tied to political cycles, public sector projects must deliver results fast.
  • Legacy Infrastructure: Government is saddled with a huge number of outdated, siloed technologies and systems.
  • Disparate teams: There are 5.4 million public sector employees, working across a huge range of central government departments, agencies and local authorities.
  • Compliance requirements: Government data is highly regulated, with the forthcoming GDPR placing even greater burden on protecting consumer and employee personally identifiable information.
  • Security challenges: Perhaps the biggest challenge is the ongoing risk of data loss to malicious third parties, malware-related system outages, or accidental data disclosure by negligent employees. The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) dealt with over 1,100 cyber-attacks in its first year of operation, while local authority data breach incidents reported to the ICO increased 29% from Q2 2016/17 to Q2 2017/18.

The need for IDaaS

As the government looks to migrate to newer digital services, identity assurance challenges will only increase. It needs a simple, cost effective way to securely authenticate individuals which doesn’t impair the user experience or lead to excessive helpdesk requests. It’s also important that any new IAM platform works across both legacy and cloud-based environments, in order to preserve existing investments.

However, the truth is that legacy IAM tools require significant investments of time and resources to integrate with cloud apps, whilst the burden of future maintenance represents an ongoing block on innovation. The answer is IDaaS solutions which shift security from the network perimeter to the cloud application layer. IDaaS is designed with modern IT systems in mind, and integrates easily with legacy infrastructure.

The Okta Identity Cloud is one such platform, offering a highly scalable, reliable and secure way to manage identity across the public sector. It’s available as a single-tenant hosted service and run from UK data centres to meet regulatory compliance requirements. With Okta, UK public sector organisations get

  • IT cost savings from its 100% SaaS model and seamless integration with legacy tools
  • Fast and secure collaboration between departments and with external partners
  • Accelerated digital transformation without sacrificing ease-of-use
  • Secure and convenient citizen access to government services which helps government run more smoothly and cost effectively.

Find out more about how the Okta idenity cloud is built, and how it can help accelerate your digital transformation efforts.

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Swaroop Sham
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Security

Swaroop Sham is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Security at Okta. His main focus areas include Multi-factor Authentication, Adaptive Authentication, and Security Integrations. He recently joined Okta, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in cybersecurity. He previously worked at Sift Science, Proofpoint, FireEye and F5 Networks. Swaroop has a Master's and Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.