The report ‘Building a Resilient Future: technology and the COVID-19 economic recovery’ was published this Wednesday, 9 December 2021. The report focuses on how an expanded definition of digital infrastructure, to include services such as the cloud and digital workspace, could directly benefit the Government’s policy priorities, including civil service relocation and levelling-up. This was developed in collaboration with WPI Economics, a specialist economics and public policy consulting firm.
This paper will give government and public sector organisations a better view on the benefits of structurally working from home 1-2 days per week – including the environmental benefits as well as defining the business value of VMware’s Workspace One, Horizon, Carbon Black and SD WAN solutions to provide stable and secure working from home environments, as well as our digital foundation message. It aims to:
- Increase VMware’s visibility and strengthen VMware’s brand and relationships with key public sectordecision makers and budget holders
- Build political support in No 10, Treasury, the Cabinet Office and DCMS to support the business case for UK Government investment in an expanded definition of digital infrastructure
Overview: There is now a real opportunity to build resilience into the UK’s digital infrastructure at the level of individual organisations, with Government support. Remote working during the pandemic has highlighted IT problems with many employers, including Government departments. But embracing remote – or distributed – working could transform the UK’s economy and wider society. Government should support an expanded definition of digital infrastructure, to be termed ‘virtual infrastructure’ in order to enable this. This type of infrastructure would be anything that allows workers to securely and remotely access their data and applications at any time, from any device, anywhere.
The report includes two major new findings:
- Polling conducted by Opinium for WPI found that almost 20% of those furloughed believe this happened because their employer lacked the IT infrastructure to support remote working. We estimate that HM Treasury could have paid up to £6bn in furlough payments to staff who were unable to work as a result of poor IT infrastructure.
- The annual cost of cyber-attacks for a medium sized business could go up by as much as £5,700 based on the increased rate of attacks seen during the peak of the first lockdown.
The report recommends that the Government take the lead in significantly upgrading its own ‘virtual infrastructure’, as well as actively support the strengthening of ‘virtual infrastructure’ in the private sector. As with ‘Caring for the NHS Workforce’ it can potentially be used to open up commercial opportunities within the public sector, and covers a large range of policy areas.