The phrase “predictive analytics” holds a lot of promises—about solving problems before they occur, better service outcomes, targeting scarce resources, supporting decisions and improving responses in time critical situations.
With so much opportunity available, how can government start to consider the risks and benefits associated with this technology?
There is a lot of hype around data. It is billed as a route to better citizen service, faster business decisions and overcoming enterprise silos. But it’s not that easy; every data decision is dependent on resolving the lack of trust, misalignment and data silos.
Public sector IT is being challenged by the existence of more traditional IT delivery approaches and legacy systems operating side-by-side with digital. Integrating the two approaches and embracing digital effectively, in line with the recommendations of GDS (Government Digital Service) is driving organisations to consider a bimodal approach.
The pressure to deliver digital transformation is gathering pace within government services. As a result, the ideal of using open-source products and frameworks to build user-centric services from scratch is going through intense scrutiny from agencies looking for frameworks that can accelerate their delivery.
One-stop login! That’s what the recently launched Gov.UK Verify citizen digital identity service is supposed to be. Aimed at improving the user experience, it was developed using Agile methods and was launched by GDS on the gov.uk website earlier this year.
The smouldering remains of recent digital transformation programmes such as the DWP Universal Credit, Home Office E-Borders and CAP-D, the regional payments agency all have common points of failure. They suffered from a lack of strategic business vision, weak leadership, limited skilled resources, the rise of a ‘no bad news’ culture and focus on technology rather than on citizen experience.
Not surprisingly, a lot is being done already. The additional £8.4 billion real-terms funding by 2020/21 announced in the recent Spending Review has resulted in an increase of £3.8 billion funding in real-terms in 2016/17. This includes a £1.8 billion Sustainability and Transformation Fund for the provider sector, targeted primarily at emergency care providers. The need to keep quality up and cost down has never been so evident, and the consequences in not bridging the gap more severe.