Digital transformation remains a buzz phrase, used mercilessly over the last five years – showing no sign of moving out of the spotlight. Indeed, its importance seems to be entering dizzying new heights with the last Government’s Transformation Strategy being heralded as an important part of restoring public faith both in government and in democracy.
In the words of the Government’s Transformation Strategy, “the world is changing rapidly and technology is ever advancing. The Government needs to work in a modern, contemporary way that responds to these changes, and this transformation – to meet the raised expectations of citizens – is at the heart of redefining the relationship between the citizen and the state.”
But transformation is risky and expensive and can involve and upheave every aspect of an organisation, with evolution rather than revolution often a more appealing option. Indeed, evolution can have a revolutionary and transformative impact and all that is required is an objective and critical eye to be able to see where transformation can be achieved with minimal risk and minimal aggravation for all involved. And with so much focus on efficiency and budgets continually squeezed, low-risk high-impact wins are the name of the game.
Many departments don’t need to go as far as a wholesale transformation. There can be substantial benefits from an “upgrade” – increasing focus on digital channels or increasing efficiency by automation or upgrading internal inefficient legacy systems, for example.
Government departments often have unique requirements, and shoehorning into off-the-shelf solutions can often be less effective than developing something 100% designed for purpose. Working with different partners, of all shapes and sizes, will help the Government gain further insight into its digital potential and achieve the ambitions outlined in the Transformation Strategy.
For Government, the transformation will come as much from a change in perspective as wholesale system replacement. With a focus on digital solutions and an openness to work with faster moving modern businesses, each project does not in itself have to be transformational (or high-risk) but the sum total of the collection of many different digital evolutions will bring the transformation that is so eagerly sought, whilst minimising risk.
Visit stand 244 at the Public Sector Show and talk to the Forfront team about public sector transformation.