It’s too easy to focus on the benefits of digitalisation for private businesses, but the effect of a digital-first strategy on the public sector is just as impactful, if not more.
The government, unlike private organisations, doesn’t have the same pressures when it comes to taking the decision to go digital, they do not have to worry about competitors taking the lead, and people not using their services.
Nevertheless, the government has the potential to revolutionise its relationship with the public, streamline services, save money, and improve peoples’ quality of life by digitising processes and making organisational changes. At SCC, we provide specialised public sector digital transformation services which encompasses a whole host of possibilities, including help with the below:
Government think tank The Institute for Government provides a compelling analogy that perfectly describes the current state of affairs, which with technology, could be easily condensed.
“When a baby is born, their parents go on a bureaucratic odyssey. It starts at the Register Office: the parents make an appointment by telephone, and then meet the registrar with a paper form of identification to prove who they are. They then receive a paper birth certificate for their baby. A succession of long paper forms follow, to get a passport, Child Benefit and tax credits, moving on to appointments made over the telephone to see doctors and health visitors. It is technologically entirely possible to make each of these exchanges simpler, faster and cheaper to administer.”
Providing a single service that encompasses all of the above improves the service and administration. So much so, The Institute for Government predicts these types of changes could save between £1.3 to £2 million by 2020.
The UK has already made headway by combining 24 ministry departments and 331 government agencies under gov.uk, but there’s still a way to go.
While four out of five adults in Great Britain use the internet every day, only two-thirds have ever transacted online with government
By digitising behind-the-scenes processes huge productivity gains can be made, and the speed at which processes are carried out can be significantly shortened. In fact, a report by management consultancy firm McKinsey suggests that if governments around the world digitised their processes, it could save them over $1 trillion annually.
Once governments have digitised routine processes, they can extend their efforts to more complex ones, including finance, human resources, and other functions that rely heavily on people. Now may also be the ideal time to ensure new functions and processes start off as digital from the very beginning.
In Sweden’s government, a digital-first mandate calls for every new service to be digitised and automated, a strategy that would be deeply beneficial for the UK.
While four out of five adults in Great Britain use the internet every day, only two-thirds have ever transacted online with government.
Most UK citizens will feel disconnected with government services, but would they if the government proactively helped them, without them asking for it in the first place? Using data, and the right technology, alerts could be personalised and automatically sent to citizens to direct them to useful services and send important reminders.
This fully-digital government is captured by IBM in a new video, showing the possibilities in action.
Building the digital government
Governments across the world now need to adapt to the increasing digital savviness of their citizens. Many people feel disconnected with the government, but a digital makeover could be the answer to bringing both closer together.
Kat Cooke is Senior Content Writer at SCC. She was previously Senior Journalist at the Aesthetics journal, and has worked for Sky News, providing live coverage of the last two General Elections and the EU Referendum. Kat has a 2:1 degree in Journalism from City University London.