The gears of local government can grind pretty slowly. Although affecting change can be frustrating at times, the potential benefits of local government digital transformation outweigh the negatives and should make the whole process worth it. From cultural improvements to better public services, read on to explore the benefits and why it should be embraced, not ignored.
Why Local Councils Should Embrace Digital Transformation
The general public always wants to see their local government take proactive steps to improve the services they rely on. Of course, there has to be a need for organisational change but it’s worth remembering that there’s constant consumer demand for increased online services. If they’re not fit for purpose or not available entirely, then they risk damaging the public’s perception of local authorities.
Embracing New Technology Can Lead to Better Internal Comms
Traditionally, the public sector has fallen behind the curve when it comes to not just technological adoption but also other internal factors like employee engagement and a culture of transparency. While the private sector is starting to embrace openness (because honesty is a trait that customers look for), their public counterparts are lagging behind.
This isn’t just a lack of transparency with the public, it’s a lack of collaboration between departments. One of the most noticeable benefits of transformation in local government is the improved communication across different teams.
With the right tools and communications platforms at their disposal, different areas of government can coordinate more easily. Obstacles are navigated quickly and projects that are beneficial to the whole community can progress with fewer issues.
Digital delivery tools, including something as simple as social media use, increases knowledge sharing and encourages effective teamwork. For this to be a reality, local government bodies need to commit to a wider transformation strategy that includes a review of existing internal communications.
Creates a Better Environment for Employees
Good communication is a key part of an organisational culture - the beliefs, values and ways of doing things that contribute to the specific working circumstances of a public sector body.
The more an organisational culture is dynamic, flexible and integrated, the better the environment for employees. Happy employees reach the highest performance levels which translates to improved services for the public.
Before you can transform your organisational culture, you need to determine what type it is and exactly what you want to achieve. You’ll face challenges when carrying out a digital or cultural transformation of this kind but the end product can be a productive and engaged atmosphere that allows those within it to thrive.
Part of improving the organisational culture might include a wider digital transformation process (and vice-versa). The public is more tech-savvy than ever, using smartphones to book taxis, pay for purchases and even control the lights in their home.
They expect the same digital accessibility from public services too. Services that don’t mirror modern public expectations, that rely on outdated, complicated and long-winded processes can be awkward and can lead to frustration.
Deeper Insight Into What the Public Wants
Like the other transformations we’ve already touched on, full-scale digital changes take time but the benefits speak for themselves. Once completed, local governments have access to greater insight from data that’s captured.
Because of the improved collaboration and valuable insight into the public's wants and needs, all teams can effectively utilise this data. Ultimately, you can start to implement the positive changes the public want.
If you'd like to hear more about ways in which to improve the citizen experience across central and local government, then please do consider joining us at the DigiGov Expo taking place at the London Excel 8-9th May, where there will be a whole theatre dedicated to the topic. You can view the agenda here: Digital Experience Theatre Agenda
Allows Future Projects to be More Agile and Innovative
With access to the latest technologies, it's easier to innovate and be agile. New ideas, campaigns and projects can only be made possible once there’s a culture of innovation in place. This culture is much easier to cultivate once employees have access to the latest tools and equipment.
These tools can range from something simple like planning software and CRMs to more advanced technology that’s on the horizon. Remember that investing in these tools isn’t enough by itself. A much wider mentality shift is needed so employees feel as though they’re in an environment that welcomes and supports new ideas.
As we’ve hinted, these change procedures are all linked to each other. The success of one relies on the implementation of another. For example, digital transformation in the public sector needs a cultural shift, otherwise it can meet significant resistance. For all of the essential information you need on cultural transformation within your organisation, check out our free guide.
Getting Started With a Cultural Transformation
Our guide, The Cultural Transformation Roadmap, touches on the best practices of a cultural transformation within the workplace. It explores the key data, benefits and even includes the insight of some current industry experts.
If you’re looking to capitalise upon the benefits of a cultural transformation, click the link below to get started.
If you’d like to learn more about issues like the above and the wider role of technology within the public sector then please do join us at the UK’s leading public sector tech event, DigiGov Expo on the 8-9th May 2024 at the Excel in London.
You can find the agenda here and if you’d like to register for the show then please click on the banner below: