Public Sector IT leaders expect substantial near-term adoption of multiple IT operating models (87 per cent), yet current usage (57 per cent) is slightly behind the average compared to other industries (60 per cent), according to a report by Nutanix.

This year’s Public Sector ECI report revealed that the use of hybrid multi-cloud models in the industry is forecasted to quadruple over the next one to three years as IT decision-makers at public sector organizations look to modernize data centres into private clouds and preserve choice in public cloud deployments.

Primary drivers for IT infrastructure investments in the next year include ransomware prevention, IT modernization, and AI strategy support to gain flexibility and access new capabilities to improve operations and enable mission success.

“Much like other industries, public sector organizations are eager to modernize their IT infrastructure and lay the foundation to adopt new technologies to deliver better services and experiences for constituents. In fact, 80 per cent of the public sector said they expect to increase their investments in AI technology in the next year,” said Greg O’Connell, Sr. Director Sales, Public Sector at Nutanix.

The vast majority of both public sector organizations (85 per cent) and all sectors (90 per cent) agreed that their organizations now embrace cloud-smart IT deployment strategies. However, just 8 per cent of global public sector organizations reported using a hybrid multi cloud approach.

Respondents in the public sector most often chose the infrastructure’s ability to protect against ransomware and other malware as their single top priority (17 per cent ). This factor was followed by the infrastructure’s performance/response time potential (15 per cent) and its ability to allow IT to flexibly move workloads across private and public cloud platforms (14 per cent), said the report.

A high majority of public sector (92 per cent) and global (95 per cent) respondents said they had moved one or more applications to a different IT environment in the past 12 months. The ramp-up of moving workloads to best support each application’s requirements is creating the need for simple and flexible inter-cloud portability. Shifting security-related requirements, in particular, are largely fueling the movement of applications.

Although AI support ranked fairly low on public sector infrastructure purchasing criteria, 80 per cent of the public sector said they expect to increase their investments in AI technology in the next year. About a third (32 per cent) said that those investment increases would be “significant” and a third (33 per cent) said integrating with cloud-native services, such as AI, was a reason they moved one or more application(s) to a different infrastructure during the past year.

As per the report, top challenges involved multi-environment storage, operations, security, and sustainability. Respondents in the public sector identified complying with data storage/usage guidelines (19 per cent) as the number one data management challenge. Increasingly, data storage strategies are driven by privacy regulations about where end user data can be stored, such as data sovereignty requirements.

(Inputs from bl intern Vidushi Nautiyal)