Build back better: digitising UK public services

Lipi Sarkar, Digital Transformation Director at CloudSource, asks whether your operating model is digitally equipped to handle the longterm shift in demand for government services?  

Due to the pandemic we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in months, and government organisations have been at the forefront of this.

At CloudSource we were extremely proud to have partnered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to help them build a better digital future prior to the Covid pandemic - and to support their digital transformation programme through it.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Nursing and Midwifery CouncilThe NMC is the largest healthcare regulatory body in the world with over 685,000 active nurses and midwives in 2020.

At the start of the pandemic NMC played a key role in the response to the national crisis by supporting staffing requirements for the NHS on a scale that has not seen before.

The business challenge was to provide emergency staffing for the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, while continuing to enrol thousands of nurses and midwives and maintaining regulatory and compliance standards.

We helped NMC analyse tens of millions of rows of data to find a profile match for the staffing requirements to build a target list of candidates, and create a custom digitised emergency online registration process that maintained regulatory workflows while doubling the speed of existing business processes.

The results enabled 15,000 nurses and midwives to get enrolled and become active in the NHS frontline for NHS through a single digital platform.

Building Back Better

There has been a dramatic increase in demand for digitised government services, and the Declaration on Government Reform signalled an intent to accelerate the digitalisation of citizen services in order to provide timely information and citizen support. 

But what does this mean for your your organisation? Are Government departments ready to take necessary steps to digitally transform citizen and stakeholder operations? 

The Government's reform programme to ensure UK builds back better from Covid-19 is ambitious. How do we do it?

Well, three key areas of focus are:

  1. Build skills in digital, data science, project and commercial delivery
  2. Embrace digital technology and data to deliver better services
  3. Improve data sharing across your department and government.

Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office, said that with enhanced skills, better use of data and a relentless focus on the end user, we can transform public services.

Digital Transformation is about how you analyse, optimise and retain operational flows within your organisation - bringing together technology, people, processes and data to transform your operations and create value for your citizens and stakeholders.

This is not just another IT project - it is not simply updating a web site or mobile app. It is not good enough to work in the same way as we have been doing for the last 10 years and expect new results.

Public sector organisations have taken tactical steps to digitise their ways of working to maintain business continuity during the pandemic.

Once the technology has demonstrated what is possible, we now need to evolve the technical, tactical technology solutions to form a strategy to build a better digital future.

Next Steps

Once it is clear that we want to digitally transform our public services, the real challenge is to learn where to start. Our organisations are full of - and may be polluted with - business applications, databases and data repositories that don't integrate.

Disparate systems, inconsistent views of citizen and stakeholder requirements, will make real time citizen and stakeholder self service processes impossible. Likewise, complex security and on premise hosting of systems can make new remote ways of working difficult.

My advice is to take forward only the data from your legacy system that adds real business value, and which can support new digital processes.

Dive Deeper:

Want to learn more about what Government is doing to build back better?

Tune in to this panel discussion on Digital Transformation in Government featuring:

  • Chris Howes, Group CDIO at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Karina Singh, Director of Transformation, HM Land Registry
  • Doug Ward, Deputy Director of Business Systems & Insight at Innovate UK
  • Mark Williams, CEO of CloudSource

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