Following the 2017 ‘Making Lives Better’ report, the Northern Ireland Government set out its digital strategy, centred on enabling deep and radical digital transformation within the public sector
with a “Digital by Design” principle at its heart.
Being ‘Digital by Design’ allows for a two way communication system between public bodies and its citizens. This permits for cases to be accessed, tracked and actioned in a timely manner through online portals, transforming both the supply chain and the demand chain – as well as processes for managing staff.
As the expectation levels of citizens evolve in line with private sector organisations and mainstream technology, public bodies require significant investment in infrastructure to keep up and match these. Service users expect faster response times with greater and easier access to accurate and complete information in an efficient and timely manner, via a broader choice of information delivery devices.
The appreciation for the requirement of technological advancement in the public sector in Northern Ireland is a huge step forward and was the first stage of the digital transformation process. Whether service delivery is slow because of outdated systems unable to facilitate modern workflows or due to inefficient, antiquated processes that rely on time and effort, the experience citizens receive when using public services often falls short of their consumer expectations.
Recognising the significant advantages and subsequent enhanced services that case management digital platforms can provide, it should be mentioned that there is also a commonly held belief that the implementation of such platforms brings its own risks including time required to plan and implement as well as the financial outlay required.
Whilst acknowledging these views, a key aspect of any cross sector transformation strategy is the ability to share data, align processes and ultimately maximise resources to become as efficient as possible in the most cost effective manner.
This means that with the sharing of data across a case management model, you are reducing the duplication of tasks and providing users with a single citizen view, meaning public bodies can increase productivity levels by promoting self-service and automating activities, freeing up resource for elsewhere. This also negates any pre disposed financial concerns as utilising cross sector support can reduce the financial outlay required in each department.
The Deloitte Consulting Global Shared Services Survey states that 90 percent of organisations using shared services achieve consistent enhanced productivity output year on year.
Beyond the financial and productivity benefits, cross sector platforms can be a catalyst for the way processes are completed. When groups move to shared platforms, they can recognise and remove old and outdated processes - and also gain the benefits of investments in new systems and technology.
Public sector bodies in particular find themselves well positioned to benefit from the sharing of information, and utilising a digital platform where a single citizen view can be accessed allows for these advantages to be fully embraced.
Want to find out more? We are offering a free consultation over coffee to discuss further the digital transformation strategy in the Northern Ireland public sector. Contact us direct to find out more.