Public sector puts increasing faith in digital savings

Public sector organisations have almost tripled the amount they are aiming to save through shifting transactions to online channels over the past year, according to new research.

A report released today by supplier GOSS Interactive said that the public sector is aiming to save more than £5bn collectively in 2015 through channel shift.

The survey of 442 executives found that the average estimated savings are now put at £1.75m – up from £685,000 just a year ago.

Rob McCarthy, chief at GOSS Interactive, said: “It is promising to see that so many are looking to absorb further budget cuts by improving service delivery and accelerating their channel shift projects over the next 12 months.  

“A growing focus on process efficiencies and mobile optimisation demonstrates that organisations are now beginning to rethink and redesign their operations to realise greater cost savings and truly deliver a superior customer experience.”

The survey comes shortly after the National Audit Office raised doubts about councils’ ability to delivery the ambitious transformational savings they were predicting.

The GOSS Interactive survey showed that 53% of public sector organisations are planning to move up to three quarters of their services online.

Respondents identified mobile web (42%), desktop web (22%) and social media (12%) as the channels that can deliver the most savings.

Key barriers to channel shift in 2015 which were identified are system integration (20%); lack of budget (20%) and staff culture (17%).

Priority areas to address next year will include integration with backend systems (68%), business process mapping (53%), better/mobile friendly forms (49%) and self-service capability (42%).

McCarthy said: “We’re seeing organisations take a far more top-down, strategic approach to channel shift, recognising it as the only way to make the huge efficiency savings that will allow them to continue to deliver the levels of service their customers need and expect.”

The NAO report said last week that predicted savings in the medium term by councils “often involve substantial, but largely untested, restructuring and transformation of services”.

Colin Marrs

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