Socitm urges more radical approach to digital transformation

Written by Colin Marrs on 27 January 2016 in News

The government’s devolution agenda presents more opportunities for digital collaboration between service providers, but requires new governance models, according to Socitm.

The representative body for public sector ICT workers this week published its response to the government’s consultation on a forthcoming revision of the UK Digital Strategy.

It said that currently, the opportunity for better outcomes is being missed by focusing on improving the efficiency of existing processes rather than undertaking radical service redesign.

Socitm’s response said: “The current ‘devolution’ agenda is building the momentum for there being more collaboration and digital innovation.

“This presents opportunities in seemingly intractable, complex issues such as: adult care assessments, home care, hospital discharges, overcoming isolation, safeguarding the most vulnerable in our communities, locating missing children, becoming an adopter, and more.

“A place-based approach to delivering outcomes – note, not ‘services’ - provides the opportunity to deconstruct siloed, paper orientated processes and proprietary technologies, and separate these out to be more commoditised, simplified and shared capabilities.”

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Urging the government to “follow the spend”, it said that the biggest savings could come from digital innovation in complex service areas such as health and social care.

It said: “Typically, these services involve a relationship between the citizen (people in receipt of care or carers) and the traditional service providers, characterised by dialogue, deliberation, co-design and co-production.”

Socitm called for the creation of secure, place-based platforms for interoperability and data sharing.

It also demanded a new “collaborative digital leadership capability for the sector at national and local levels”.

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Submitted on 28 January, 2016 - 12:07
I agree with the importance given to using digital to enable modern citizen-centric services. A digtal strategy implies that 'The way the organisation works (leadership and governance)' is aligned to how value is contributed to the community ecosystem. In Team of Teams (McChrystal): Management thinker Gary Hamel writes that companies now find themselves in "ecosystems" and "value webs" over which they exert almost no control, giving them little ability to predict or plan their own destinies. In such settings, the ritual of strategic planning, which assumes "the future will be more or less like the present," is more hindrance than help. This was exactly what we were finding with the institutional strictures - planning routines and an organizational structure and culture firmly embedded in the notion of predictive mastery - that governed the Task Force. Our complicated solutions were flailing in a newly complex environment. The inevitable outcome of this approach is perhaps best summarized by Henry Mintzberg, author of The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: "Setting oneself on a predetermined course in unknown waters is the perfect way to sail straight into an iceberg."

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