To make the most of your techUK website experience, please login or register for your free account here.

Three blockers to public service transformation by Triad

Guest blog by Adrian Leer, Managing Director of Triad Group Plc. as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week. #techUKDigitalPS

The Government champions a citizen-centric approach to the transformation of public services. The notion of putting the user at the heart of everything is sound. But three things are holding it back:  

  • A lack of standardisation 

  • A lack of cross-Governmental citizen thinking  

  • Neglect of the non-digital channels. 

Let’s look at each of these in turn. 

  1. A lack of standardisation  

Standardisation is important. When something is standardised, it becomes much easier for it to come into universal use.  

Take the Government Digital Services (GDS) standard, for example. The GDS standard is a template to help the government create and run effective digital services. The GDS is easy to access, high-level and non-prescriptive. It works. And at Triad, we have embraced the opportunity to follow it.  

But it’s not universally adopted by Governmental departments and local government bodies. And in my opinion, this is a missed opportunity.  

Picture 1 - ADRIAN LEER.png
  1. A lack of cross-Governmental citizen thinking  

Citizen journeys are experiences that interact with many separate organisations. The division of responsibilities across departmental and agency lines is a product of bureaucracy and administration. The structure of service delivery in the public sector needs a fundamental rethink.

The “Tell us once” service for people to use when someone dies remains one of the few examples of cross-governmental thinking. And what a great example it is. It enables us to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without having to inform them individually. It connects disparate services from your local council to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax and remove the deceased from the Electoral Register. And it informs each relevant team across HMRC, DWP, the Passport Office, the DVLA and even the Public Sector Pension Schemes to update pension records. Genius.  

Picture 2 - ADRIAN LEER.png

True citizen-centred thinking requires a completely open and unconstrained mindset: 

It isn’t easy. 

It does require new thinking. 

But the benefits are enormous. 

  1. Neglect of the non-digital channels  

Government Digital Services (GDS) thinking has highlighted the importance of well-designed and well-constructed communications. GDS has always urged practitioners to consider off-line and non-digital access. Despite this, there are hundreds of legacy “analogue” or paper services that have been neglected. For example, the DVLA will send out complex multi-page letters to elderly drivers with possible sight issues and/or cognitive challenges, without consideration of the confusion and distress that can be caused by such an onerous and unwieldy communication. 

Transforming isn’t easy. It takes courage.  

We need the courage to champion good thinking, standardisation and the opportunity presented by retrofitting digital best practices onto analogue customs and traditions. With that determination, we will have a leaner, fitter, and healthier state. 

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.


Adrian Leer is Managing Director of Triad Group Plc. For 30 years, Triad has been honing its expertise in technology-based business change. Drawing on experience in the toughest of environments to identify the right solutions, we have a track record of success that spans the public, private and third sectors. To learn more about this author, please visit their LinkedIn.

To learn more about Triad Group Plc, 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

Join our Government Group

All techUK's work is led by our members - techUK members can keep in touch or get involved in our work by joining our Government Group, and stay up to date with the latest events and opportunities in the programme. Scroll down to view recent insights, and upcoming events and opportunities. 


Government Group

techUK's Government Group is our thriving community of 500 tech suppliers to Government. The group is composed of companies of all sizes, from new entrants to some of the biggest companies in the world. Group members receive our govtech market intel, and opportunities to engage with Government to understand their requirements and explore how tech can help meet them. If you're a techUK member working with Government to transform the delivery of our public services then this is the group for you.