Overcoming hurdles to digital transformation in the public sector

11th Mar, 2019

Six years on from the codification of its digital transformation strategy, the Cabinet Office acknowledged that public sector organisations still faced barriers to delivering transformation. Among the most significant: complex existing architectures, cost pressures, lack of applicable skills among staff, and cultural hurdles.

These barriers have contributed to slowing down effective coordination across the 25 departments identified for digital improvement when the strategy was first published. Lack of real progress in many areas has led to the realisation that a top-down approach to digital transformation isn't moving the public sector forward quickly enough.

The customer experience disconnect

The Cabinet Office's updated transformation strategy singles out delivery of customer-facing services as a focal area, noting that organisations are struggling to meet both targets and people's expectations for service improvements. This comes as no surprise to us, as we frequently hear from customer service leaders in public sector organisations about process problems that lead to a poor customer or patient experience.

The leaders we talk to know there's a gap between people's expectations and their organisations' ability to bridge the disconnect between the front and back office. In many cases, the disconnect stems from the same set of root causes:

  • Lack of integration capability among established IT systems
  • Lack of IT resources — both skills and budget
  • Departmental silos — including a lack of communication between IT and front-office teams
  • Different priorities — teams that serve customers and patients care passionately about the experience of those groups; while IT is focused on more strategic issues, project backlogs and acute problems

Seven principles for success

Following these seven principles, derived from a wealth of KPMG research and experience , can help teams deliver successful public sector digital transformation projects.

  1. Transformation first. Focus on the outcomes you need, not the technology.
  2. People problems not technology problems. Solve the most pressing customer or user requirements first.
  3. System design. Design with the end in mind of both the work to be done and the user context. And be ready to be future flexible.
  4. Invest in analytics. Make sure you can use the data you collect to make efficiency decisions.
  5. Multiple iterations and continuous learning. Embrace an agile approach to deliver more effective results
  6. Support interoperability. Be sure that any solution choice makes APIs low/no cost and easy to connect.
  7. Sound information governance. Data sharing requires strong information governance and security.

Low-code helps you deliver

Low-code helps organisations deliver projects in line with these seven principles. Its potential to accelerate digital delivery and reduce IT overheads is why the January 2019 SOCITM Policy Briefing identifies low-code as a likely trend in public sector IT over the coming year.

A low-code platform like Netcall MATS allows rapid development using component configuration rather than complex coding, and simplifies integration between front- and back-office systems. So the people who understand the customer or patient experience problem can solve it themselves with easy-to-use tools, instead of always turning to overstretched IT teams.

Join us on 28 March to find out more

Hear more about how organisations are making real changes in their transformation at a breakfast briefing chaired by Doug Drinkwater of CIO.co.uk, and featuring members of Network Rail's senior IT team and Netcall's CTO. It's on Thursday 28 March 2019 at 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin). Sign up and see more on the agenda.

In the meantime, discover more about our solutions and who's benefiting from them by visiting the Netcall public sector solutions page or downloading our Low-code for local government brochure.

Did you know that we have an activity community with free-to-share accelerators? Read more here.

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