As we continue to endure the prolonged effects of the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that millions of people are online more than ever. In fact, our New Normal report surveyed 5,000 global consumers and showed that this is likely to be a long-term shift – 45% of people stated that they plan on continuing to use more online services post-pandemic than they did before.
Government services are one area that has seen online demand skyrocket. From departments who were challenged to manage an influx of benefit claimants, to websites buckling under the weight of people attempting to learn what the COVID-19 restrictions were in their area – government departments and agencies have been at the forefront of the battle to ramp up their digital transformation efforts to meet demand.
Now with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, the beginning of the end of the pandemic crisis just might be in sight. So what long-term lessons can be learned about how to service a customer base which looks ready to access services increasingly online-first, while remaining agile enough to respond to any future societal shifts?
To start, your approach should put digital identity at the heart of your operations. Many companies still consider identity a layer in their software stack rather than a core component. It’s only those that subscribe to the latter, more modern mode of thinking, who will stand to benefit from the true business value of identity. From managing and safeguarding a remote workforce to ensuring all citizens have easy access to your online services, digital identity will allow your organisation to face the challenges of today and provide secure, connected digital services at scale, simply by ensuring that systems, services and apps know who (or what) they are interacting with.
For those of you in customer-facing operations, this matters because it allows you to deliver a personalized, and therefore better, online service that directs people to precisely what they need based on their identity. This creates an effortless user journey that also requires less resource investment. For your workforce, ForgeRock’s digital identity and access management functionality means you can now control who has access to what, and allow rapid scaling as demand grows or shrinks.
Focusing Your Time on What Matters
Next, your organization needs to be able to react to unforeseen events and changing situations, like COVID-19, quickly and without tying up scarce resources which are in acute demand elsewhere.
And using the Government-Cloud’s framework will allow you to search, compare, and procure from pre-approved suppliers and vendors without lengthy bureaucratic processes.
This speeds up an otherwise protracted approval process, making the task of finding the right digital identity solution for your department quick and seamless. It also means you can focus your efforts on the mission-critical areas that need your attention – like managing the increased user demand from the thousands of people newly accessing government services online now and into the foreseeable future.
Pick a Cloud, Any Cloud
And the good news? As an approved Government-Cloud vendor, ForgeRock is on the list of providers you can choose from. What’s more, ForgeRock is the only vendor recognized as a leader across the top three analyst firms.
Which takes us to the third lesson: every department’s digital transformation journey won’t be identical. That’s why we’ve developed our Identity Cloud solution, a single identity and access management (IAM) platform that can manage and protect all of the identities, devices and services within your organization.
There’s a range of deployment options available, meaning that organizations can embed our solution into an existing public cloud, on-premises or hybrid environments. It is not an all-or-nothing proposition: your department doesn’t need to ‘rip-and-replace’ their entire legacy identity systems to benefit from our identity cloud capabilities. We adapt to the unique needs and capabilities of each organization.
That means by moving to a hybrid cloud model that can co-exist and augment your existing identity infrastructure, your department can scale with ease, on your own timeline and according to your unique departmental demands and capabilities.
Keeping Your Data Safe
Final lesson: security is more important than ever. From HMRC reporting an increase in phishing scams at the start of the pandemic to local councils suffering from serious cyber-attacks, public sector data breaches are on the rise following the online migration of so many users during the pandemic. With more people signing up for government services, departments must ensure that user data is protected from cyber-attacks and malicious hackers.
Thankfully, a modern hybrid cloud solution can defend against compromised accounts and data breaches, via ongoing contextual authentication and authorization – ensuring only the right people are accessing the right things.
It’s a Hybrid World
The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. Some of those shifts will be temporary; others permanent. But for public sector bodies concerned with equipping themselves for the long-term, the lessons are clear: a digital identity solution, available quickly, which adapts to your specific needs and protects your users’ data will put you in good standing.
And ForgeRock’s Identity Cloud Solution, available to procure via the Government-Cloud portal, will do just that.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Forgerock Blog authored by Nick Caleyn. Read the original post at: https://www.forgerock.com/blog/harnessing-digital-identity-build-tomorrows-public-sector