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OpenText: Driving true Public Sector digital transformation through data, automation and cloud
We saw public sector organisations demonstrate extraordinary resilience in delivering essential services in the toughest of circumstances during the pandemic. For many organisations, years of slow, careful adaptation to digital technology were fast-forwarded in a matter of weeks. What we are seeing now, however, is that many in the public sector are questioning whether they are truly set up behind the scenes to provide that ’digital-first’ experience that citizens have come to expect.
Ultimately there is no turning back. This accelerated digital transformation has changed engagement with citizens. And the pressure is on for local and government authorities to offer digital services that are effective, relevant and targeted to citizen groups and individuals while remaining within budget. This means that the public sector now needs to expand its thinking – learning from the transformation it underwent during the pandemic and taking a more holistic approach.
So, what key components do authorities and government services need to focus on to ensure they are set up to deliver a true digital citizen experience?
Data and legacy systems
Data is at the core of digital customer experience. Public Sector bodies must find ways to use available data more intelligently. This will allow them to create better services and cost-effectively deliver efficient, omnichannel engagements. Information governance and record management is the starting point.
And you cannot forget about the value of the data held in legacy systems. A typical IT environment contains many legacy applications and large volumes of data. While many authorities may find it expensive and technically burdensome to maintain, these older systems often support critical business processes and contain sensitive business data that has not been migrated to newer applications. Moving this data to an optimised archive reduces costs, increases speed of access and enables more informed decisions, leveraging AI derived value spanning years of operations.
By automating key processes, such as document management and the proper filing of citizens' requests, organisations can provide their employees with more effective means of doing their work, freeing them from tedious and less valuable tasks. This will have a positive impact on employee motivation and employee retention – a challenge that many public bodies are currently facing. Critically, by automating repetitive, low-value tasks, employees will be able to focus more on identifying and improving the end-user experience, including reduced wait times for citizens.
Take it to the cloud
The migration of government systems to the cloud has become a reality and the benefits are clear. The cloud provides a far simpler foundation than existing complex infrastructures and improves operational resiliency. Migration also enables organisations to use up-to-date products, solutions and services for added security.
On top of that, the cloud can improve the experience for the end-user. One example is how cloud-based solutions facilitate the grouping together of a greater number of self-service capabilities within different areas of the Public Administration.
Digital platforms built with low-code applications provide a range of standard processes pre-configured for public administrations. This means that it is possible to accelerate the design and implementation of applications for specific operations, such as the issuing of concessions or the management and processing of applications related to building permits.
Unlike the traditional waterfall model for updating operating systems, low-code applications allow in-house teams to launch, evaluate and adapt software improvements much faster. In addition, since these applications no longer require developers to create, test and maintain code, governments can reduce costs, improve service quality and streamline processes, allowing tech specialists to focus on more complex projects without compromising in-built security and compliance.
What is clear is that the UK public sector will need to continue to build on the momentum of digital transformation post-pandemic. To do this, authorities need to understand they need to take a step back to review their working practices and technology stack and make strong, strategic decisions to unlock the true digital experience for citizens. And that starts by looking at core elements of their technology, including data, automation and low code applications. Doing so will enable them to meet current as well as future expectations of both staff and citizens.
To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.
As a Sales Director at OpenText, Nick Lund is responsible for key accounts across Public Sector working with customers to support their information management programmes for increased operational efficiency, cost reduction and improved customer service. The role involves solutions across the whole of OpenText's Enterprise Information Management portfolio - including content management, enterprise asset management, mobile working, Business Process Management, social media and integration with both Microsoft and SAP environments. His passion lies in making a genuine difference and informing and supporting organisations as they tackle information-led challenges within their business. The majority of challenges faced by any company arise from managing and deriving benefit from the huge quantities of content they own as well as making sure their processes are being run in the most efficient way. Outside of his day-to-day work, Nick particularly enjoys playing golf or being on stage, when he is not currently walking his dog with his wife or looking after their rescue chickens in the garden.
On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.
You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:
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