Now the dust is settling from the general election, the job of running the country is starting in earnest.
Scoping the extent of austerity measures to be enacted during this parliament is naturally topping the agenda. It’s clear a salami slicing approach has outlived its usefulness, and step-change transformation is an imperative in many areas of the public sector. Indeed innovation, enabled by technology, is pivotal; something that all the main parties recognised with their emphasis on a national digital strategy.
In its election manifesto the Conservative party committed to rolling out cross-government technology platforms to cut costs and improve productivity – hinting the party would work towards a ‘government as a platform’ model. It is also aiming to make the UK the world leader in the progression of 5G network technologies and has previously promised to invest in the ‘internet of things’.
Technological advances, the proliferation of devices and the cloud, and greater availability and diversity of data are accelerating change and driving expectations. Already a quarter of all people use digital services as their first choice when dealing with an organisation. For the public sector, there’s a lot to do.
For instance, we estimate data insights will drive significant innovation, if supported by a mind-set that embraces change. In an information society, intelligent data collection and analysis can empower government organisations to build insight, inform planning and improve service delivery.
Digital-driven change provides a mechanism to derive further efficiencies through automation and self-service at a time when traditional approaches to cuts are becoming exhausted. This gives local public services for example, the opportunity to make more cost savings while protecting frontline activities. For many organisations, decisions taken today will impact their success by and beyond 2025.
The changing citizen is poised to take advantage of these technological advancements. Indeed they expect them, being already accustomed to accessing efficient, digital services and sharing data. As documented in our report, The Changing Landscape for Local Government, the change taking place in the social and demographic landscape has considerable consequences for all.
It’s now time for the public sector’s IT strategy to forge ahead and place innovation front and centre of this evolution to support the plans that all organisations have to move quickly, beyond simple efficiency savings.
Paul Bradbury, group business development director, Civica
Column sponsored and supplied by Civica