The Financial Crisis, Austerity, Brexit, Covid, Ukraine, Climate: since 2008 the headlines have been full of challenges for policymakers and officials. But there are huge opportunities too. Governments have the chance to revolutionise service delivery, foster economic growth, and promote beneficial social change.
They can do it if they learn to get the best from our brilliant public servants and are ready to lead the charge when it comes to technology.
The coming years will see radical reinvention of how government is done, as power and influence over economic growth and community wellbeing shift to the regions.
We shouldn’t see technology as a quicker way to do the things we already do, replacing human or analogue effort with something digital. So many big IT projects fail, wasting time and money, because of this approach. Instead, we should think holistically about what people and machines can achieve together.
Digital affords opportunities for the public sector to reach out to citizens and involve them in designing the services they pay for. It’s this human dimension of digital that unlocks real transformation and efficiency.
Austerity’s endless cheeseparing and restructuring of services has been exhausting for officials and users alike. And it’s often counterproductive.
To adjust to new constraints, what’s really needed is a radical reinvention of service models, together with an agile culture of continuous improvement. We can help equip our brilliant public servants with the 21st Century skills, tools and techniques they need: supporting new approaches to teamwork, training and leadership.
The next decade will see strengthened local decision-making and greater regional economic autonomy, as the UK’s many communities assert their identity. This seismic shift requires new approaches. Those who move quickly, using technology to engage their communities, and fostering new partnerships with other sectors, will thrive.