Transforming public services is hard. As then Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer said in his foreword to the Government Transformation Strategy in 2017:
“There is no company on earth - even the largest of multinationals - which comes close to having to co-ordinate the array of essential services and functions for millions of people that a modern government provides.”
Next month will mark the mid-point of the Transformation Strategy, and the challenges haven’t got any less daunting, with Brexit and demographic pressures placing more strain than ever on already stretched public sector resources. So how should public servants and their partners in industry respond? Joining us at techUK’s Building the Smarter State conference this year will be the Minister with responsibility for the Government Digital Service, Oliver Dowden. He will be outlining how Government has set about tackling these challenges, the plans it has for the innovative public services of the future, and the ways in which the UK’s tech industry can partner on public sector transformation.
Clearly, the digital skills and capabilities that public sector organisations can call on will play an important role in determining how many of these plans will be realised. Civil Service Chief Executive John Manzoni will deliver the second keynote address at Building the Smarter State looking at how public servants can ensure they have the skills they need to design and deliver the services of the future, and take advantage of the innovative solutions being developed by the UK’s thriving tech sector.
The Government’s Industrial Strategy committed it to fostering a closer relationship between public and private sectors by supporting innovation in industry through the design of better digital public services. Sue Owen, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will outline how her department and the Government more widely is working towards this goal by transforming data and digital thinking across the public sector, while Rupul Karia, Fujitsu’s Head of Public and Private Sector in the UK and Ireland, will explore some of the transformations that successful partnerships have already delivered.
But a better understanding of the big strategic challenges facing the public sector is not the only thing that we hope delegates will come away from Building the Smarter State with. Running throughout the day will be a series of interactive sessions and hands-on demos designed to share advice, feedback and experience of the public sector market for both new and established suppliers. The Government’s SME Crown Representative Emma Jones will conduct a Q&A on breaking into the market, while service designers from Government and industry will work together in our hackathon to rethink how technology can transform public services.
But perhaps most importantly of all, we hope that by bringing together hundreds of digital leaders from across the public and private sector we can build the networks, skills and ideas that the UK’s innovators need to be able to rethink the public services of tomorrow. If you’d like to join us, let us know here.