IT consultancy and services company, BrightGen, has found that public sector workers are dealing with IT frameworks which don’t support their needs.
BrightGen commissioned a study across Local Government offices around the UK in the wake of Covid, and were surprised to learn that council employees still have various “unmet needs” when it comes to their digital support.
Respondents told BrightGen that the main areas of concern are:-
- A lack of integration capabilities
- Reluctance from suppliers to continuously develop the technologies councils use so they can charge for explicit bespoke solutions
- General limited number of suppliers in the market.
After a challenging year for everyone, BrightGen wanted to know how those working in the public sector would be supported tech-wise, as the build-back from Covid begins.
The research highlighted that the current systems in which councils operate is inconsistent and lead staff to struggle to measure long term success. Councils differ in how they manage their IT systems – ranging from total outsourcing, to a hybrid of outsourcing and in-house teams, to local authorities sharing resources with other councils.
Many respondents reported not feeling confident in measuring the long-term success of current technology, telling BrightGen that “measuring long term success is a weakness of our council and local government in general” and “we are often required to develop things very quickly because of changes in legislation, this can make technology decisions short-sighted”.
Long-term success would be established if the systems were “cloud-based”, “value for money” and provided a “high level of satisfaction from residents, while reducing challenges and complaints from residents”, with of course, “great cyber security”.
Housing (80% of respondents), Social Care (80%), Environment Health (20%) and Planning & Building Control (20%) were key areas in which respondents felt they needed digital support, with 80% telling us it was crucial in “every service area”.
The councils who took part in our research told us their current set up left them with a variety of their needs unmet:
- 20% felt they had a lack of integration capabilities
- 20% felt there was a reluctance of IT providers to continuously develop the technologies councils use so they can charge for explicit bespoke solutions
- 20% said there was too limited a number of suppliers in the market
The combination of these challenges means that councils often find themselves choosing the same suppliers and using outdated systems that don’t connect well with newer technologies.
“At BrightGen we see a huge opportunity for councils to improve their efficiency. This will drive change faster with the right technology partners,” said Anna Bedford, Public Sector Lead at BrightGen. “This is a crucial time for local government to act, to ensure future success, whatever the circumstances.”
Access the full report here.