Survey: users "being forgotten" in push for digital transformation

Study carried out by advisory firm Deloitte suggests public sector still feeling lack of "culture, skills, governance and leadership" on digital

By Colin Marrs

16 Jul 2015

Only 12% of public sector bodies are actively involving citizens in the design of digital services, according to new research.

A survey by business advisory firm Deloitte found the public sector across the UK "lack the culture, skills, governance and leadership" to successfully deliver digital services.

A total of 86% of respondents across central and local public sector bodies throughout the UK said such transformation was essential, but only half claimed to have the ability to capture citizens' views and preferences, with even fewer using them.

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Joel Bellman, public sector digital partner at Deloitte, said: “Citizens are accustomed to excellent digital services in other areas of their lives and do not accept that government is immune from this. Our survey finds a disconnect between those designing digital public service and those that will use them."

A total of 89% of respondents said their organisation was pursuing digital services to cut costs. However, less than a third (32%) said funding for the shift to digital within their organisations had increased, while 28% felt they had the right level of resources available to bring in expertise.

A quarter of respondents said their organisation had sufficient skills to execute their digital plans, with a third saying their organisation’s leaders had the right level of digital skills. Overall, just one third had confidence that their organisation was well-placed to respond to digital trends.

In addition, 83% said procurement rules hindeed their ability to source digital services, despite 74% saying they were reliant on outsourced expertise.

Bellman added: "The technology is there for the public sector to take advantage, yet they lack the culture, skills, governance and leadership to do so.

"The public sector needs to ramp up its digital skills, just one quarter saying they have the right skills in place is not a good omen. Funding is clearly going to be difficult in an age of austerity but digital is a route to long term savings.”

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