Technology Leaders Claim Public Sector Is In Era Of "Data Blindness"

Sep 15, 2015

A group of leaders in the technology sector have come together to warn against the public sector continuing its era of "data blindness." 

Civica, a provider of specialist systems, software, technology and outsourcing services, has published a report calling for a shake-up in IT-enabled transformation in the public sector.  

The document is a culmination of warnings from technology leaders that unless significant changes are made to the way the public sector works, it will be unable to make the Prime Minister's 'One Nation' vision a reality.  

According to the report, priorities for government and other public bodies going forward should include digital, increasing its data IQ, developing a self-service and social nation and committing to outcome-based intervention driven by an overall cultural shift.  

It notes that we live in an age where people are constantly plugged into a myriad of systems, devices and social networks, which creates more data than ever before. 

However, there is a challenge for all organisations when it comes to making sense of this data to realise tangible benefits for the end user.  

"To date, public services have been data rich but information poor. With £30bn in savings yet to be found, data insight is pivotal to enabling public service organisations to act smarter, identify opportunities for greater efficiency and deliver services at the point of need," claimed Civica managing director Steve Shakespeare.  

"From a data insight and analytics perspective, the last ten years have seen public sector organisations progress only 20% of the way through the business transformation journey, with the remaining 80% to be delivered over the next ten years. For innovation to happen we need to step out of this era of data blindness," added the firm's CTO John Hood.  

Huge Culture Shift Required 

The report also places an emphasis on public sector organisations to improve the customer experience, develop all services with the user in mind and develop a more joined-up approach to procurement.  

However, the technology leaders who developed the report all agreed the that necessary changes will not take place without a radical shift in culture.  

Such a culture shift will need to be driven by CIOs with a vision that goes beyond the parameters of just technology.  

"The CIO crucial to any IT-based transformation project. In reality, it's never about technology; it's all about change management and being willing to bite the bullet," claimed Jonathan Mitchell, CIO at global recruitment firm Harvey Nash, which was involved in the making of the report.  



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