Digitally transforming your way to efficiency

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    Thursday10Sep 2020
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    Guest blog: Ollie Watson, ES Group Business Development Director, CACI asks - are you getting the most from your workforce? #techUKSmarterState

Efficiency is driving tangible change through the public sector – are you getting the most from your workforce? 

Efficiency can appear to be some form of professional nirvana, a distant utopian dream in which everyone is operating at full capacity. Efficiency is a buzzword of our times more generally too, in terms of our diets, energy consumption, transport, finances and time. It can often feel mundane. 

Efficiency has become something of a goal of modern life, not least at work. As technology has started to play a prominent role in our professional lives, it has been natural to explore how it can make us better. 

CACI recently conducted a survey with Surveys in Public Sector exploring how public sector organisations manage their mobile workforce. Mobile working has different definitions and can still be viewed with some scepticism; are employees as productive when working away from the office environment? Where employees are working from home, this question is valid, but for many public sector workers, being out in the field is necessary. 

You can’t inspect a school or drive a bus from an office, so how can the workloads of such workers be made more efficient? Spending more time away from an office or depot is actually a sign of this and empowering these employees to interact with their work and schedules in a mobile fashion is a major help for them. Being tethered to a central location is extremely inefficient. 

Furthermore, many desk-based employees cover a broad geographical area, necessitating time away from an office environment for meetings and conducting core functionality. On top of this, life can simply get in the way, with the need to minimise disruption caused by transport issues, illness and family life. Opening the working environment to access from beyond the confines of the office helps to alleviate the issues caused by such ad-hoc events. 

This is one of the major drivers behind transformation projects that organisations have been carrying out. Digital transformation is the reimagining of business for the modern age, underpinned entirely by technology. Every company you know and work with uses the internet, which opens many possibilities. 

In our survey, we asked; “Thinking about transformation strategies across your organisation, how much of a priority is increasing efficiency?” 77% of respondents said ‘high priority’, 21% said ‘medium priority’ and 2% said ‘low priority’. In the interests of rounding off the question, 0% of respondents said ‘don’t know’. 

What this highlights is that efficiency is on everyone’s mind. Across other responses in the survey, ‘don’t know’ started to feature more prominently (you can see the full report here). Furthermore, 98% of respondents have efficiency as a priority, with three-quarters having it as a high priority. The search for efficiency is on. 

The search, however, needn’t be overly arduous. It may seem like your own epic journey, but efficiency doesn’t have to become your Golden Fleece. Advancements in technology are making efficiency far easier to find. Automation and support of tasks such as scheduling, expenses, compliance, analytics and reporting make efficiency far easier to achieve.  

Those 98% who consider achieving efficiency as a goal of their transformation projects should be able to discover it without too much of a detour. This will underpin not only future growth of your organisation, but also facilitate the work of your employees.  

Those working remotely, away from the office, needn’t be disconnected from it. Rather, they can be empowered to spend as much time away from the office as is necessary to complete their function. They don’t need to be tethered to the office to fulfil their jobs.  

This means that your workforce can achieve more. That, ultimately, is what efficiency is about. 

Guest insight by Ollie Watson, ES Group Business Development Director, CACI. This blog first appeared on the CACI website.

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