Public sector bosses admit digital ‘gamble’

Almost two thirds of digital decision makers in public sector organisation are “gambling” on technology to deliver benefits, according to a new survey.

A report commissioned by supplier Fujitsu found that 58% of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that the success of digital projects is a gamble.

More than a third of the sample (36%) said no clear digital strategy existed within their organisation.

A similar percentage (36%) of those working in organisations that do have a strategy say that it is unclear and confused.

Steven Cox, Fujitsu vice president and head of public sector for UK & Ireland, said: “Digital transformation requires communication and compromise. It also requires structured planning which incorporates the digital needs of every single stakeholder. What this study tells us is that this strategic approach is not always being taken within the public sector.

“The results paint a picture of a sector keen to take advantage of the benefits of digitalisation but going about it in an inconsistent way. This is of huge concern. Without a clear and agreed plan, the simple fact is that digital projects run the risk of failure. Something the public sector simply cannot afford.”

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More than 600 decision makers were surveyed across public and private sectors in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Spain.

The report also found a number of problems caused by a lack of digital skills.

More than half (51%) of those in the public sector said that they don’t have the right skills in their organisation to successfully deliver digital projects.

When asked about barriers to making confident decisions, 30% cited a lack of execution skills and 28% pointed to planning and project definition skills.

Cox said: “The digital skills gap is an ongoing issue and the public sector unfortunately suffers more than most.”

“To address and move past this, public sector organisations must take advantage of the external expertise around them.”

Colin Marrs

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