There’s no hotter buzzword in all of government IT than ‘digital by default.’ By this point, everyone knows it is much more efficient for government offices to offer services to citizens online, rather than by phone, by post or in person. Moving government services online is set to save £1.7 billion annually and researchers estimate that digital services have the potential to save billions more.
But knowing the right course of action and knowing how best to implement that strategy are often different things. How do you know if you’re doing ‘digital by default’ well?
Over on the Microsoft Dynamics blog, Microsoft UK’s Government Industry Manager, Michael Wignall offers these thoughts on the right way for public sector organisations to embrace a ‘digital by default’ strategy successfully.
In an example of ‘digital by default’, University College London worked with Microsoft and Tribal Group to create a patient relationship management system for patients with childhood diabetes using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The system gives patients and their families 24/7 access to advice as well as creating a secure, shared tool for sharing information.
“Our aim was to mimic the way retailers use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track their dealings with consumers over time and deliver a much more joined-up service,” says Professor Peter Hindmarsh.
The project exemplifies successful strategies for public sector organisations looking to go digital:
Critically, University College’s approach – using proven off-the-shelf software and adapting it for public sector needs – proved pragmatic and efficient. It enabled Professor Hindmarsh and his team deploy a prototype system very quickly and then build on existing features to expand capability.
In doing so, it met government IT objectives of working with SMEs (such as Tribal Group), delivering agile, responsive IT services, increasing productivity and focusing on results that matter to the client (such as better disease management). Above all, it shows how ‘digital by default’ can also mean ‘better by design’ thanks to technology.