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The eight public services industry trends you cannot afford to ignore

Posted by  Mark Gibbison

Pressure is mounting for public service organisations to reduce spending and increase efficiencies. Automation and better data management could make a huge difference to performance but official bodies are behind the digital curve. These eight trends will help you catch up.

Public services are under greater demand than ever before. Communities expect a wide range of support, with a great user experience — how can official bodies keep pace with these expectations?

Industry trends are driving efficiencies across public sector institutions. However, these improvements are only possible through enterprise resource planning (ERP) technologies that can automate admin and enable predictive data.  

Let’s look at some of the biggest influences on the public services industry right now, and how the right software can deliver the digital innovation that organisations so desperately need.

1. We’re not getting any younger

Our population is ageing, with more and more people living to celebrate their 100th birthday. But longer lifetimes mean a greater demand on public services, and greater provision for health and social care, which organisations must carefully balance.  

2. Budgets need to stretch further

People aren’t just getting older, they are becoming more reliant on support. Communities require a broader range of local services. This is a problem because, often, organisations are trying to do more with static or declining budgets.

3. Access needs to be instant — and smooth-running

We expect everything immediately in today’s digitally driven world, and public services are no different. People want quick access to online services, and a great user experience (UX) to get the support they need — but current software can’t always deliver on these expectations.

4. Local teams are more accountable

More and more initiatives are being decentralised, so they fall under the remit of local authorities. This is making it difficult to achieve transparent, well-run public service operations, as bigger teams and more complex technology need to be accommodated.

5. Data holds greater value than ever

So, authorities are better equipped to do more with less, and official bodies realise the importance of collecting and analysing data insights to improve performance. This is giving rise to predictive data tools, which use artificial intelligence (AI) to leverage data in new ways.

6. Fraud is under fire

Tightened legislation and heightened public consciousness is shining a new spotlight on fraud, waste and abuse (FWA). Again, AI tools are emerging in this area to help teams identify vulnerabilities and stop fraud — particularly payment fraud — in its tracks.

7. Admin has taken a back seat

The way in which employees spend their time has come under scrutiny, and productivity is a huge focus in the public sector. Many organisations are using digital platforms to automate admin tasks so staff can concentrate on valuable, engaging activities that improve community services.

8. The digital catch-up has begun

As we mentioned at the start, public sector bodies can seem behind the digital curve compared to commercial enterprises. However, many organisations are now making funds available to update legacy software, so they can put in place ERP systems that can manage their services more effectively.

Right now, teams investing in technology are at the forefront of the sector, but soon they will be the norm. Those bodies resisting change will then get left behind... and face greater scrutiny by the taxpayer.

With this in mind, now is the time to future-proof your organisation; to put the systems in place for better public services management.

Read more here, and register to our webinars: https://www.unit4.com/sectors/public-services/empowering-employees

To find out how the right ERP technology will improve your response to industry trends, download this 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.

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Mark Gibbison