At a time when the public sector is under increasing pressure to find savings and reduce costs, making the most of digital technologies to deliver public services is becoming a key priority for every level of government. Innovations like real-time applications, mobile technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, automation, and data analytics are enabling greater efficiencies in public service delivery, and opening up new and more flexible ways for public servants to get things done.
At Vodafone, we’ve identified five drivers that are enabling digital change to be expanded and accelerated across all areas of government. Taking advantage of these can help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of public service delivery, both today and in the decades ahead. These are:
1. Thinking ‘Innovation Beyond Austerity’
Innovation beyond austerity means using technological innovations to unlock new efficiency gains, especially where considerable streamlining of resources has already been achieved. We believe tightening financial budgets need not constrain digital transformation. By looking at digital technology, communications and services, government teams can find ways to do more for less, and work smarter and faster.
2. Agile Service Delivery
Agile service delivery is all about making government more responsive, and overcoming the temptation to default to ‘monolithic’ services and departments. Agile unlocks the power of decision making across teams and suppliers to achieve more and in faster cycles. It’s an approach that can be used effectively to break down silos while ensuring governance and accountability.
3. Consumer-grade Service
A relentless focus on consumer-grade service is becoming increasingly important as digital puts private sector-style customer experience at the heart of public sector delivery efforts. It’s about making it easier and more convenient for citizens to engage with public sector organisations.
4. Aligning Skills
Many government departments are already undertaking ground-breaking work using digital technology. And while being digital has a huge role to play in attracting top talent among millennials and generation Z, it’s important to bring everyone on the journey. Facilitating a culture of knowledge sharing ensures more experienced team members also benefit from new skills. Aligning skills across multi-discipline and multi-generational teams helps to ensure a digital vision can be delivered by empowered and motivated civil and public servants.
5. Team work
Achieving all of the above takes collaboration. And this is possibly the most critical foundational trend driving wide-scale digital success. Collaboration breaks down silos, creating new teamwork opportunities. It also avoids waste and the duplication of efforts. This will all have a positive impact on costs.
Digital drives cultural change, and this requires inspired, supported and motivated teams. Everyone has a role to play, from technology decision-makers and suppliers to policy makers, hospital directors and police commissioners. And this is why digital success is ultimately always down to teamwork.
We’ll be exploring the opportunities teams have to transform service delivery in more depth in a series of articles to follow. You can also read more about the trends outlined above in our latest report