Two thirds of government executives believe their organisations need to change faster in order to keep up with technological developments, according to research released today by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
The report, commissioned by Ricoh, shows that 71% have already experienced technology-driven changes in the last three years, and many have a vision for how to further improve their organisational agility in the future.
Recruiting new staff (45%) and improving core business processes (44%) were ranked as the two areas where they expect to see most change over the next three years.
There is paradox in perception between the need to change, and pressure to do so. Although officials overwhelmingly recognise change as necessary and imminent, the research also found that just 27% of government officials feel significant or extreme pressure to adapt to the rapid change required.
UK policy-makers continue to emphasise the importance of digitally transforming government operations. In the latest UK Cabinet Office report on Government Digital Strategy, it was estimated that moving services from offline to digital channels can save between £1.7 and £1.8 billion a year.
In addition, it is approximated that more than 80% of UK adults are online, showing the need for organisations, such as government and public sector, to operate with technology tools the public require.
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“As the public become increasingly tech-savvy, they expect organisations to adapt in parallel, and provide services that meet their expectations,” said Alasdair McCormick, national sales director, government, Ricoh UK. “They no longer want to take part in complex, document heavy processes when in most other aspects of their life everything is faster and digital.
“Alongside customer satisfaction with effective digitised processes there are, of course, cost savings, derived from reduced duplication, increased productivity and less waste.”
Government executives acknowledge that there are several critical areas of focus if they are to improve citizen satisfaction.
However, many of the government executives surveyed show concern that rapid change will bring increased risk to their citizen communications.
They rated the IT function (45%) and marketing (45%) of equal concern when changing business functions quickly.
However, as e-government becomes the norm, opening online paths to communicate is more essential than ever before and must be managed alongside the needs of those citizens that have not readily embraced the digital world.