Earlier this month the UK Government released its Digital Transformation Strategy, outlining how it plans to digitise its services and build better workplace tools and processes to make it easier for public servants to work effectively.
But what does this mean for enterprises vested in the public sector; how can they adhere to the government’s digitalisation plans and ensure they are delivering a similarly holistic approach to their IT infrastructure and resources?
The challenge ahead
While the government’s latest manifesto should be commended, the road ahead to digitise its systems will not be an easy one.
It’s fair to say that government agencies have faced previous hurdles in the delivery of new or standardised IT based infrastructure. Challenged by aging, complex processes and systems, and struggling to effectively manage the sheer volumes of citizen and business data being held, there have been numerous problems documented over the years.
>See also: The UK Government’s Transformation Strategy
Data duplication has been a particular issue; with 25 ministerial departments and 21 non-ministerial departments alone, ensuring effective collaboration and communication with each another is no mean feat.
To tackle the challenge, the government will need to move towards common technology, where it can consume commodity hardware or cloud-based software and most importantly, move away from legacy contracts that are trapping departments into ageing technologies and prohibiting digital transformation.
However unlike the government, which is instigating digital change because it is the right thing to do, enterprises not yet fully engaged with their own digital transformation will be forced to change by competition or risk falling by the wayside; and for those vested in the public sector space, the time to act is most certainly now.
Failure to act quickly could also result in serious contractual repercussions for enterprises. Let’s take public service facing construction companies for example.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Any construction company working across centrally procured public sector projects must now be BIM Level 2 accredited as standard.
Building information models, for those not attuned to the construction sector, are files which can be extracted, exchanged or networked by architects, project managers or those responsible for the design, planning, construction, operation or maintenance of a built asset to ensure the physical infrastructure is safely, effectively and affordably managed.
To be level 2 certified, companies must be able to develop building information in a collaborative 3D environment with data attached, but in a separate discipline model.
BIM is no passing fad, and some construction companies are failing to recognise this, which means they will miss out on valuable business opportunities and could face significant penalties.
With the construction industry being heavily criticised of late in the wake of the Farmer Report for its lack of innovation and collaboration, digitally aggressive enterprises that are driving the government’s vision of a Digital Built Britain, and are able to provide a valuable digital service will have a significant advantage over competitors and ensure business longevity.
In order to expedite digitisation across the enterprise, companies will need to implement forward-looking software to manage cross-collaboration between systems, departments and geographies.
Like the government, they will need to rely on software that can help them to meet and anticipate changes by providing intelligence across a wide range of enterprise functions.
By linking business strategy and growth ambitions to enterprise software investments, enterprises will instil better decision making, provide real-time visibility and control and be able to intelligently manage business process change.
Take National Grid Smart for instance. By deploying enterprise software across its core business operations, the subsidiary company of National Grid is able to constantly access installation and procurement data from sub-contractors in the field, enabling it to monitor progress and swiftly address initial challenges.
>See also: How to move beyond digital transformation
As such, the smart metre programme, which consists of next-generation smart metres being installed in over 5.5 million homes across the UK, will ensure consumers and organisations only be billed for the energy they actually use, as well as deliver a range of benefits – including the provision of real time information on energy usage to both consumers and suppliers.
By utilising advanced automated software solutions that help consolidate and make sense of data, as well as bridging the gap between departments, the government will ensure it is adaptable and responsive to change.
Enterprises must follow suite to keep pace as it evolves. This will not only maximise internal productivity to reduce operational costs, but help position enterprises ahead of competitors, and enable them to have the flexibility and performance data to take rapid action and ensure continual business success.
Sourced by Andy Worwood, partner sales manager at IFS