In many circles, the public sector is widely regarded as a somewhat bureaucratic and highly inefficient environment. Unlike up-and-coming startups and smaller businesses, the public sector is highly reliant on the older infrastructure and technology that has already been put into place by executives. This makes it much harder for groups to evolve to suit the needs of an ever-changing consumer environment.
The good news? Local authorities and other public sector groups can move into a more flexible space to set themselves up for better growth in the future. Cloud communications environments give public sector groups the space that they need to invest in digital transformation at a pace that suits them. In the cloud, public sector groups can access the latest technology, make their environments more adaptable to citizen demands, and access useful information about customer needs.
Unlocking the benefits of the cloud
Some public sector organisations are already discovering the benefits of the cloud for themselves. These groups are using citizen experience metrics to help them provide better service. They’re also accessing an environment where information can be shared securely and seamlessly from one environment to another.
An important part of the technology adoption environment is making sure that communication systems are properly upgraded to handle the enquiries of the public and ensure proper alignment across all departments. A legacy on-premise private branch exchange (PBX) can be moved into the cloud to guarantee higher availability, save money and provide access to a broad suite of web-based tools for customer service.
Moving to the cloud can even be an excellent solution for public sector groups worried about budget. While there is some initial cost with changing any infrastructure, the long-term benefits are enormous. For instance, moving to the cloud allows companies to access state-of-the-art enhancements like smart city technology. Tokyo’s intelligent traffic management tech can dynamically change speed limits to keep roads clear, reducing the cost of congestion. In New York, the Midtown Motion project can use field sensors to transmit traffic data to a Queens Control Centre, making the roads safer.
The endless opportunities offered by the cloud mean that “cloud-first is here to stay” according to a report by the UK government.
Time for a digital transformation?
Public sector groups can’t afford to ignore the importance of digital transformation. One study by Deloitte recently found that three quarters of the leaders in the UK public sector environment believe that digital technologies are disruptive, while 96% defined them as “crucial” to their domain.
The UK just needs a broader strategy to help public sector organisations access all the benefits of the right technology in the marketplace. The smart city approach could do amazing things for the UK. Already, we’ve seen the impact in other parts of the world. For instance, Helsinki’s Smart Kalasatama district wants to become so efficient that residents gain an extra hour of free time every day. Smart projects include automated waste collection to reduce truck traffic by up to 90%, and parking spaces that charge your car.
There are even smart education solutions out there, like Finnish schools that embrace an inquiry-based method of learning with hackathons and open data innovation for generational growth.
For the UK to follow in the footsteps of other leading environments, it needs to get the basics right first. Public sector organisations need to embrace a digital backbone empowered and enhanced by the cloud. What’s more, the groups leading the UK need to be empowered by people who can take a disciplined and responsible approach to change.
Originally published Sep 09, 2020