SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management)
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Covid-19 provides a unique opportunity to build a new model for public services

new report demonstrates how enforced changes to working practice and the swift introduction of technology made during the pandemic could be a catalyst for updating and improving government services.

Shared with permission from Jisc.

Jisc’s executive briefing programme steering group commissioned the report, which was written by digital consultant and researcher, Jos Creese, and supported by the Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation (Socitm).

The report recognises that the journey to ‘digital first’ has been accelerated by Covid-19, which “provides a unique opportunity to break out of the traditional organisational structures and to build a new model for local services which is more flexible and which uses expertise and adaptability to solve problems rather than just well-designed processes and defined policies. Such organisations will be truly fit for the future”.

Describing a new role for local public services and their relationship with the communities they serve, the report suggests new governance, technologies, ways of working, risk models and service design. This represents a more fundamental shift than simply absorbing collaborative technologies into ‘business as usual’.

The report goes on to say:

“Local government and health, in particular, will need to become more adaptable if they are to be able to support their communities in any future crisis in terms of food, energy, essential service support and public protection – including biosecurity.

“Emergency planning and business continuity will require reviewing as centralised government is redefined and the importance of local public services increases. Resilience of services and the infrastructure on which they depend will be fundamental.”

Issues to consider include:

  • New models of leadership to drive digital change, support workers and to protect democracy and equality
  • Review of supply chains, civic emergency planning, business continuity and organisational resilience
  • Redefined ‘work’, working spaces and how workers are supported and deployed
  • Redesigned IT infrastructure, response to cyber threats and data security management
  • Review of technology opportunities, from collaboration tools to AI and robotics.

Click here for the full press release


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