The public sector is facing an unparalleled set of challenges.
The cost of Covid-19 totalled more than £350bn in 2020/21 alone, as government unrolled support for businesses and households, increased welfare spending, and invested heavily in public services. Two years on from the start of the pandemic the outlook for the UK remains uncertain, as we face the fallout of the biggest shock to our economy for 300 years.
And of course, it’s not all about Covid-19.
Digital transformation has been on the agenda in government for over 10 years — as evidenced by the establishment of Government Digital Service (GDS), and the range of people across government working towards making positive change. But the arrival of the pandemic has raised the stakes, and government must now respond to an even more complex set of issues.
The rapid response shown by many government departments to the pandemic illustrated the power of digital technology, and what can be achieved with the right mindset, talent, and hard work. Covid-19 has raised expectations around the responsiveness, quality and remote delivery of public services, and this can now act as a catalyst for wider cultural change in our institutions.
This is an opportunity to do things better.
In this report, we identify six key focus areas for government digital transformation:
- Exploring how government can better align policy with digital
- Securing efficiencies with Intelligent Automation
- Building a strong base in cloud computing
- Unlocking the power of data
- Tackling online harms
- Making digital services accessible to all and environmentally sustainable.
We set out why digital transformation — a combination of the processes, technologies and culture of the digital age — is critical to modern government. Now, more than ever before.
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