Digital Transformation in the Public Sector | DMA

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Digital Transformation in the Public Sector


Is technology taking over?

Many of us have experiences of using services from the Public Sector. Whether that be paying on-line for services, populating forms or even downloading brochures and leaflets.

The consensus is that the Public Sector is being transformed by the introduction of digital and many processes are being digitalised not only for the end user but also for the benefit of Public Sector staff.

With the introduction of mobile and advanced online capabilities in data management there is one key question, are government services prepared for the digital age?

What does the research show?

Research shows 47% of citizens interact with public authorities online and that 26% of all forms are now completed digitally.

The shift to digital is evident more than ever, with personalisation and simplification leading the way in improving efficiency and engagement.

45% of all online forms in the UK are pre-filled with personal data and one-time-only registrations are now available for multiple on-line public authority services.

As more and more users begin to use these online services, there are still some issues surrounding digital and the Public Sector. For example only 1 in 4 public services in Europe is mobile-friendly, 2 out of 5 websites still suffer from high drop off rates due to a lack of transparency and only 41% of Public Sector leaders are satisfied with their organisation’s current reaction to digital.

So how much can the Public Sector save by going digital?

Eliminating manual and paper based processes not only translates to a more efficient service for the public, but also represents a significant reduction in cost to Public Sector organisations. Transforming the government’s approach to digital technology saved 1.7bn between 2014/2015. The total government savings as result of digital transformation has grown steadily year on year. The figures published by Crown Commercial Services (CCS) and Government Digital Service (GDS) indicate:

--> 2012/2013- Saving of £891 million as a result of digital

--> 2013/2014- saving of £978 million as a result of digital

--> 2014/2015- saving of £1.7 billion, with a combined total saved over the three years up to £3.56 billion.

The task ahead is to maximise these savings and start to create more efficient communities that engage citizens with more innovative technology.

Growth areas may well be around apps and websites with only currently a fifth of the public using these technologies to engage with Public Sector bodies and only 10% of the public using on-line services to report problems, crime and incidents.

What are the real examples of digital transformation?

Public Sector services are using digital strategies to connect and equip front-line staff, save time and engage with citizens.

Examples from Cambridgeshire Police force saw the introduction of 4G mobile technology allowing front-line officers to complete forms on the go, connecting seamlessly with back office staff resulting in the force saving time and money.

Furthermore, technology that allows users to capture, input and review information on the move providing citizens with a quick and high quality service has been seen first-hand in the NHS.

Recovery rates and general patient well-being have been improved by providing care in more familiar surroundings. The trust provided a mobile network to carers that allow them to access and edit records on the go, resulting in time saved and better response rates with patients being able to be seen in the comfort of their own home.

Finally Reading Borough Council, to improve engagement, deployed an app to support people not in education, employment or training. The app provided advice, support, training and volunteering schemes to those who might not have engaged otherwise with the council. The app proved to be a success engaging young people on a platform relevant to them.

So where do you begin?

Identifying the problem is key for Public Sector organisations. Many front-line staff are currently not equipped with the technology they need to best serve UK citizens.

The increased pressure on the Public Sector to save money and boost productivity can only be combated by giving Public Sector workers access to the latest digital technology, ensuring that citizens are being served by the Government in the best possible way.

It’s more important than ever that public sector organisations put a digital strategy at their core; if we as a nation are to unlock the potential of technology, this will undeniably lead to a more productive public sector workforce that will engage the public, save money and drive efficiency.


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