Meeting the future government challenge

Written by Chris White, Head of Digital Solutions at Capita Software Services

How a fresh, citizen-led approach to the digitisation of services is urgently needed by local government

It is three years since the government published its first digital strategy, which set out how government aimed to become “digital by default”, redesigning its services to make them “so straightforward and convenient that all those who can use them will choose to do so whilst those who can’t are not excluded”.

A white paper published by Capita “How a fresh, citizen-led approach to the digitisation of services is urgently needed by local government”, looks at the progress made over the past three years. In that time costs have been cut, time has been saved and millennial citizens are grateful they can pay for their parking permit online or check school term dates via their phone. However, the often piecemeal nature of digitisation means local government is missing out on many of the advantages that better integration of technology brings.

Using examples from across the UK, the paper examines how a more citizen-centric approach to digitisation could start to deliver even greater efficiency savings, lower costs, improve services through collaboration between departments and other services such as health and the third sector and enable earlier interventions for vulnerable citizens. It also considers how the development of a new type of management software – a digital citizen-centric portal that facilitates single sign on for citizens and the exchange of information to and from the back office – can make sure that future digitisation projects will be where real change starts to happen. This is when digital services will truly start to transform local government as we know it – making it responsive to citizens’ needs and enabling the proactive management of future demand.

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