SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management)
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Socitm briefing: reduce demand, don't just manage it efficiently

Local public services must manage efficiently, but also reduce, levels of enquiries and demand for services if they are to meet the financial challenges they face, according Socitm's latest briefing.

Demand management: the key to reducing costs? focuses managing demand within the context of customer access, and says that at one level this means re-designing the management of customer access and supporting delivery processes in order to reduce cost. This is likely to mean investment in self-service, and efforts to 'channel shift' customers to low cost digital channels, including websites, social media platforms, text and email alerts, personalised 'e-accounts', and automated phone services.

However, the acts of making enquiry handling more efficient, and re-designing services will not, on their own, deliver savings of the order of magnitude now being required of local public services. Demand management must be extended, says the briefing, to include activities that anticipate future demand for services and, where possible and appropriate, take steps to reduce them. Examples of such activities are given in the briefing.

At a wider level, and going beyond the arena of customer access, demand management may mean working with other agencies to share response to the same issues; passing activities over to other agencies or to the community itself; and driving behaviour change by citizens.

Demand management: the key to reducing costs? is available free of charge to Socitm Insight subscribers.

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