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The golden opportunity for public services amid a series of challenges

Posted by  Mark Gibbison

It’s no news that public sector organizations are struggling to catch up with the pace of digital technologies, and that they’re being held back by cost and budget pressures.

But while dwindling budgets is an old story, the extraordinary increase in demands placed on public service (PS) organizations is still relatively new.

There’s more pressure on budgets, citizen expectations are escalating and compliance demands are rising. Operational complexity is increasing and governments are in transformation. The need to deliver a wider variety and an enhanced quality of services is greater than ever.

To make matters worse, the digital capabilities of public services organizations lag far behind the private sector, government officials admit.

Service delivery suffers

This is causing some seemingly insurmountable problems for governments, local authorities and councils around the globe.

It’s worsening the wellbeing, job satisfaction and engagement of employees. It’s killing staff productivity, retention and the effectiveness of talent management. It’s reducing operational efficiency and agility — decreasing PS organizations’ ability to respond to fast-paced disruption and policy changes. They are finding it harder to comply with new legislation, ensure robust data security and avoid improper payments.

Worse of all, the quality of services is dropping.

Historic opportunity

So, as our population ages and the demands on your organization increase, how can you break through these barriers to deliver better services which make a difference where they’re needed most?

Fortunately, the Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) economy offers new, historic opportunity. Organizations that have made changes in response to the XaaS economy are already reaping the benefits. For people-centered service organizations, new digital technologies are driving productivity and boosting operational efficiency.

But, only part of the solution lies in the software itself. (In fact, many organizations today have too “much technology and not enough time” while only 38 percent of workers are satisfied with their work-related tools and technology.)

The complete solution is a combination of agile business applications and the opportunity they provide to review and modernize organizational processes and structures for digital transformation.

This process starts with elevating the importance of technology within your organization by developing strategies for integrated, business-wide systems which streamline processes, deliver data visibility, automate processes and augment experiences for citizens as well as staff.

The best of today’s cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suites do exactly that. They are industry focused, they deliver comprehensive business process support and integrate seamlessly with performance management solutions.

Capitalizing on the digital opportunity

At their foundation, they create a positive employee experience (EX) which in turn delivers a better experience for taxpayers. Equipping staff with intuitive, XaaS-level, self-service tools improves EX and significantly reduces, or eliminates, repetitious, manual admin tasks to make work better for people every day.

These tools change how tasks are done, how staff interact with technology and how they use information to identify new opportunities. They help you build employee journeys, develop apps, create and monitor workflows and add conversational user interfaces.

All this boosts employee engagement and wellbeing, improves staff retention, and creates space for your people to be more productive and creative. This means they can spend more time focusing on strategic and customer-facing tasks to deliver greater value to the organization as well as the citizens they serve.

These tools work in combination with an aligned strategy for data, digital and IT. With today’s PS-specific ERP systems you can deliver enhanced data insights to inform decision-making, streamline admin processes and restrict spending, which results in better business strategy and exceptional performance.

The right technology also delivers smarter ways of meeting the diverse reporting demands of regulatory agencies, constituents and the public. It helps you comply with new legislation and ensures robust data security to deliver accountability and transparency across all departments, and for all stakeholders.

A commitment to digital enables you to devote more resources to frontline services and deliver better, more coordinated services for citizens. This happens through an upgraded experience for both employee and citizen, alongside more streamlined information-sharing across the organization.

To discover why your organization should embrace a digital future, and how it can benefit from it, download the industry brochure: A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC SERVICES — why the public services industry has a golden opportunity and how the leaders are taking advantage of it.

Mark Gibbison

Mark Gibbison

Mark Gibbison is the Industry Director for Public Sector for Unit4 in the UK and Ireland. He is driven to help institutions deliver improved services at a lower cost using enterprise technology. He has held senior positions in local government IT and with technology vendors like SAP. Mark joined Unit4 from Objective where he held positions as Head of Enterprise Sales and as Local Government Sales Director.

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