Publication Digital Machinery of government 19 January, 2021

Digital public services: what's next?

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The challenges that arose with service delivery during COVID-19 – from lockdown and remote working to increased demand – further cemented the benefits of having the right digital infrastructure in place. 

Government Departments which had been more successful in digital transformation were able to scale up services with ease to meet demand. Those areas of the public sector which had not, initially found it difficult deliver a digital first service especially in a lockdown.

The issues described above have been known about for some time, however COVID-19 has laid them bare and provided new impetus for change. This research provides three ideas for the government going forward to help the public sector on its transformation journey:

This research provides three ideas to help the public sector on its transformation journey:

  • First,  a cross-government digital skills strategy with a clear focus on retaining digital leaders, potentially reviewing pay-scales for those with the highest level of technical skills to compete with the private sector.
  • Second, given that there is already comprehensive guidance for moving away from legacy IT provided to the public sector, the barriers to its adoption need to be identified and overcome, supported by a cross-government legacy IT fund.
  • Third, government should review the limits on resource spending on technology which hampers  public sectors ability to buy newer pay-per-use technology such as the Cloud.

This  report has kindly been supported by Amazon Web Services.