Going Digital & Unlocking Value
Private sector organisations, from banks to coffee shops, have embraced the need to offer consumers different digital channels and platforms to access their services and the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated this. Adoption within the Public Sector, however, has been much slower where top-down, bureaucratic and paper-based transactional models are still commonplace. The lag in Public Sector organisations moving towards digital public service delivery is due in part to technical challenges such as the prevalence of multiple legacy systems; the inability to unlock essential data and the insights this data could bring; and a lack of technical skills and knowledge to enable access to data across multiple systems in a customer-friendly way. In addition, Public Sector organisations face cultural challenges that can impede digital transformation and these cultural, people and organisational change aspects are typically overlooked with the primary focus on technology.
The business case for the digital agenda centres on improvements in customer engagement and satisfaction, securing income collection or reducing the cost to serve. There is an incorrect assumption that digital requires significant capital expenditure or IT investment - this is not the case if cloud services are used.
The challenge for Public Sector organisations is maintaining the myriad legacy systems and manual processes, which ultimately make it harder and slower for citizens and customers to engage, adding friction to their customer journeys.
Digital transformation change does not have to be an all-encompassing, big bang, programme. Public Sector organisations should focus on relatively quick wins, such as making it easier to take payments, which will assist in improving organisations financial security. It is ever important to capture discretionary revenue and ensure it is maximised. Another focus could be digitising supplier interactions, which can deliver cost saving through process efficiencies and identifying volume-purchase savings. Providing customer visibility of case updates could be the third focus, allowing self-service on progress rather than additional services calls which would allow staff to address the case rather than provide updates.
The latter is limited by on-premise infrastructure that in-house teams must manage. The cloud provides a more flexible, secure environment to innovate. The cloud environment allows access to diverse data sets, the ability to apply advanced analytics, and predict outcomes, whilst meeting citizen privacy and compliance regulations. Tools such as “Low Code, No Code” enable integration and data visibility to users and can be leveraged by staff of any technical ability. Starting with finance, procurement and HR systems, the transition to the cloud can begin and become a catalyst for wider change.
A key challenge for Public Sector is deciding on organisational priorities and recognising digital transformation is a journey and not an end destination. Going digital should be focused on how to deliver long-lasting capability, it is not just about getting rid of existing technologies. Preparation is key along with a set of criteria to assess the change by, as well as understanding the “As is” and what “To Be” should look like. Using Infor’s market leading CloudSuite, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Public Sector organisations can transform how services are delivered. For example, voice assistant technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa, can be utilised to fulfil digital service requests: ‘Alexa, when is my bin day?’, or “Alexa, pay my garden brown bin waste fee” or “Alexa, tell me the progress of my planning application”.
Read more about public sector and digital transformation in our eBook, written in collaboration with Infor and AWS.