Local government digital strategies struggling to filter down from senior management - research
Study of more than 1,000 local government workers finds some believe adoption of new technology is being stymied by individual agendas
Although most local government entities have a digital strategy in place, many are struggling to ensure it filters down from senior management to rank-and-file staff, research has found.
A study of 1,095 local government workers revealed that 80% of senior managers surveyed believe that their organisation has a digital strategy in place. This compares with a figure of 65% across all staff, and just 58% for those whose only involvement in tech is as a user of IT services.
But the research, conducted by telephony vendor 8x8 and PublicTechnology parent company Dods, also found that 82% of all respondents believe that the implementation of new technology has had a positive impact on their organisation. Some 51% said it has had a small positive effect, while a further 31% feel it has had a major beneficial effect.
- Data issues 'hampering council transformation'
- How councils can use and make the most of data
- Mobile responsive council websites on the increase, finds survey – but quality declines
More than a third of those involved in either design and specification or procurement agreed or strongly agreed with the suggestion that individuals within their organisation are holding back the adoption of new technology to preserve their own position, or to maintain the existing set-up.
But just 15% of senior managers and 21% of rank-and-file IT users felt the same way.
Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK managing director at 8x8, said: “It’s encouraging to see optimism about the benefits of new technology amongst staff within local authorities. Yet it’s clear a minority of individuals are still standing in the way of change and, while they are small in number, they are having a huge impact on their organisation.
He added: “Ultimately, the damage is felt by the residents missing out on improved and streamlined services."
But civil service head Jeremy Heywood hits back and claims government departments are ‘sharply improving digital capacity’
A government-commissioned study makes 18 recommendations, including asking GDS to help create a scheme to boost public sector use of artificial intelligence
Carol Brock of OpenText believes better use of structured and unstructured data could help the government deliver better policy and services
Newly named Government Service Standard to broaden focus beyond discrete transactions