OVERVIEWThe UK public sector is under considerable pressure to identify savings, while maintaining vital frontline services. ICT has a significant role to play in achieving these challenging objectives. Advances in technology drive modernisation and progress; recent developments in ICT such as smartphones and tablet PCs, social networking, and Cloud computing present opportunities to generate significant efficiency and productivity gains.
This conference will explore the case for making public services digital by default, providing essential information on how public sector organisations can deliver efficient, cost-effective public services that are responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses.
There is a shift towards online services, which are viewed as tools to transform the relationship between the government and individuals, particularly for disadvantaged groups. High-quality websites are vital in providing citizens with accurate and helpful information on a 'self-service' basis, reducing the need for costly call centres or face-to-face enquiries. Social media are also increasingly considered to be a key way to boost citizen engagement.
The government is leading a revolution in digital public service delivery, understanding that public services can be improved by bringing them online, increasing choice, allowing greater control, and enabling personalisation of services. The recent Open Public Services White Paper sets out a new approach of 'government services wherever you are', aiming to accelerate the digitisation of public services, creating new opportunities for technological innovation and removing the current barriers to digital delivery.
A new Director of Digital has recently been appointed to the Cabinet Office to lead the Government Digital Service (GDS), with absolute authority over the user experience across all government online services, focusing on what creates the best citizen experience. This follows the Directgov 2010 and Beyond report, produced by UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, that states that digital public service delivery will provide better services for citizens, and has the potential to deliver savings of more than £1.3bn a year.
Delegates will be offered the opportunity to hear of examples where new models of digital public service delivery have been embraced, and how they are improving service delivery and attaining efficiency savings. Alphagov, the new prototype for a single website that aims to bring government transactions and information into one place, is to focus digital public services on customer needs. The Public Sector Network (PSN) has been particularly noted as a delivery mechanism for shared data centres, storage facilities, the public sector 'Cloud', remote technical expertise, and customer and employee self-service. This transformational programme will create an open and collaborative environment for all public sector employees, and is expected to contribute at least £631m per year in savings to the Efficiency and Reform programme by 2014.
Technology has a central role to play in the reform of the public sector, offering more innovative and individualised services. Digital by Default: a revolution in public service delivery will feature an excellent programme of high-profile speakers, providing essential insight into the future of public services.