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The Government Transformation Strategy 2017 to 2020

Blog posted by: , 9 February 2017 – ​Digital strategyTransformation.

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Today, the Minister for Cabinet Office announced the launch of the Government Transformation Strategy. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone across government who collaborated with us to build on the work we’ve done since the 2012 Government Digital Strategy.

There has been a huge team effort to ensure that the 2017 strategy reflects the needs of the people of the UK by enabling government to work in a modern way. This strategy charts the direction of the digitally enabled transformation of government – in how we work, how we organise ourselves and how we serve our citizens. It’s been designed to be carried out at pace and scale: to deliver meaningful change to the people who need it most, faster and more efficiently.

With the work that we’ve done as part of the 2012 strategy, we’ve truly demonstrated the potential for digital transformation of public services. We’ve redesigned and rebuilt some of the most used services. For the first time, digital professions have been established across the public sector. And, a strong foundation has been laid for departments to share platforms, components, code and best practice.

The collaboration across departments that brought the 2017 strategy into being is the start of what we hope will be a new pattern of work. We know that the work of transformation needs to penetrate deeper than ever before. We need to make sure data can flow easily between departments, allowing us to build joined-up services that run seamlessly across government. This will be how we start to reshape the relationship between citizen and state into one that puts power into the hands of the citizen.

To achieve this we have arranged our strategy into 5 main themes. We will focus on:

  • business transformation: continuing to deliver world-class digital services and transform the way government operates, from front-end to back-office, in a modern and efficient way
  • skills and capability: developing the right skills and culture among our people and leaders, and bringing together policy and delivery to enable services to be delivered in a learning and iterative environment, focused on outcomes for citizens
  • enabling the Civil Service to deliver: building better workplace tools and processes to make it easier for public servants to work effectively, including sourcing, governance, workplace IT, businesses cases, human resources processes, common technology across the public sector and better digital tools for civil servants
  • data: making better use of data – not just for transparency, but for transformation across government that will allow us to build joined-up services
  • shared platforms: creating, operating, iterating and embedding good use of shared platforms and reusable business capabilities to speed up transformation – including sharing patterns and components and establishing open standards

We’ve been ambitious in the breadth and scope of this strategy. Collaboration across government will not always be simple. However, we’re confident that government is aligned in its digital ambition. And we’re working to establish targets that make sense for everyone. The role of GDS will be to support, enable and assure departments in meeting these goals.

The Government Transformation Strategy 2017 to 2020


















Transformation is a constant process with no endpoint. But, in government, there is a clear need to measure progress. We need to hold ourselves accountable for the work that we are doing. And, we need to prove that meaningful changes are being made.

For this reason, we’ve set ourselves some milestones. The plans detailed in our strategy are set to be complete by 2020. But we know 2020 is not the finish line. The work we want to do should be a foundation for the digital government of the future: a government that is readily adaptable, and able to keep pace with technical change and evolution. We’re already planning for the things we’ll do beyond 2020, and we’ll keep you updated as we go.

As ever, we’ll be keeping our work as open as we can. We’ll be telling you about the progress of individual projects and discoveries. And we’ll keep talking to departments. In the next few months, the dialogue around the strategy will continue on the GDS Roadshow as we travel around the country. You’ll hear more about what we learn from these events soon.


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