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Pegasystems: Catalysts for Change

Guest blog by Peter Wilson Pegasystems Government Industry Market Director as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week. #techUKDigitalPS

This is always the question that elicits the classic “Top X emerging technologies” article and of course all the usual suspects will be on there in varying degrees of rehash, depending on who’s view it is and I’m as guilty as the next in writing such pieces. A quick check of a major consultancy firm view just now as I write this blog, provides the following view: - 

  • artificial intelligence (AI),  

  • augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). 

  • Internet of Things (IoT),  

  • blockchain,  

  • drones,  

  • robotics,  

  • 3D printing 

Now don’t get me wrong, I can think of some good use cases across public sector for all of that, especially if you include defence in the mix, but….. If you are operating in a heavily administrative driven function, there’s probably only data intelligence that’s really going to equate to a practical, valuable and, fairly immediate use. 

But…. Then its not really the availability or otherwise of emerging technologies that creates the problem of a slow adoption of true digital transformation, it’s often the incumbent policy, culture and working practices and it’s those things that will blunt the impact of the best of innovative emergent technology, whatever it is. 

What I mean by that is, many of todays government digital services are still representions of paper based and time lagged processes that are outdated for todays digital world, partly because of the fundamental constraints inherent in legacy policy frameworks and partly because of wider complex IT Landscapes with sunk investment, so as a consequence whilst there is a broad range of services that are more convienient to engage with via the web channel, there still isnt any that can substantially claim to be transformational. 

Now that word doesn’t mean needing to invent some wholly new and abstract way to operate Tax, Benefits, Transformation, Health or, Courts process; Transformation is more practical than that and, in fact I recently used a quote from Gabor George Burt1 “Meaningful innovation does not need to be based on outright invention, but based on bold, new combinations of existing components” which is for me very useful in making the point. 

What we can take from this in real-world terms is that Policy and IT Landscape constraints are a fact of life, so the most useful technology trends to accelerate true transformation in administrative organisations are going to be those that deal in insight, intelligent automation and service orchestration over the top of those realities. Thus, in organisation models with multiple lines of business, but common customers, it is essential to create “connective tissue” throughout constituent parts of the People, Process and Data landscape, to ensure coherent “customer service”.  

This is as true in citizen services, as in any other human facing service organisation, however it requires a hybrid approach to technology support that can augment prescriptive and often legacy “systems of record”, grounded in in-flexible policy frameworks, with more agile “system of work” technologies. 

In this regard, bringing people, systems and data together to form a collaborative, efficient and effective ecosystem that bridges the gap between these disparate “systems of record” and more agile “systems of work” technologies, is the way to solve this transformation conundrum in a practical way.  

Providing a unifying layer by using “system of work” technologies, that can support re-imagined process journeys, but can resolve outcomes back to prescriptive “systems of record”, is the practical way to create engaging services that consolidate customer needs and provide the kind of value that citizens will appreciate and want to adopt, without exposing your organisation to a risk, cost and time penalty that will be too hard to manage. 

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

You can also follow the campaign on techUK's Twitter and LinkedIn - #techUKDigitalPS.

Peter Wilson_Pega.jpg

Peter Wilson, Pegasystems Government Industry Market Director is an IT Architecture and Digital Thought Leader with 21 years experience in Senior Public Sector roles including; Executive level IT Strategy Development, application and Infrastructure Transformation Planning and Solution Architecture Delivery in major Transformation Programmes. To learn more about Pegasystems Limited, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter.

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:

DDaT Playbook Launch Event

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techUK talks with… Shaheen Sayed, CEO - UK, Ireland & Africa, Accenture

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For the fourth instalment of our popular techUK CEO Talks, we are delighted to be joined by Shaheen Sayed from Accenture to discuss her journey to CEO of one of the UK's largest businesses, and how technology can build a better future for the UK’s economy, people, society, and the planet.