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Local authority attitudes to digital transformation are changing. Discover why.

Local authorities remain under severe pressure to digitally transform, but it's often a slow process. Many authorities are now taking a more tactical approach in an effort to speed things up - and a new set of G-Cloud 10 solutions from GOSS are here to help.

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For local authorities, digital transformation is a massive undertaking - requiring significant time and investment to make it happen across an entire organisation. But in an era of unprecedented cuts to local Government, this is often unrealistic.

Our annual Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector Survey for 2017-2018 showed that while there's still a clear drive to move services online in response to customer demand and cost-cutting pressures, the speed of change hasn't kept pace with initial expectations.

For example, in 2015, 51% of our survey participants believed more than half of their services would be delivered online within three years. Fast forward to 2018, and only 7% think this has actually happened. 

In light of that frustrating reality, we're now seeing evidence that local authorities are taking a more pragmatic and realistic approach to digital transformation initiatives.


Local authorities are taking a new approach to transformation

Local authorities are under intense pressure from Government to reduce costs, but also to offer new and improved digital services for their customers, and make them more accessible and efficient.

But digital transformation is a mammoth task, and any decisions to change can take months, even years to happen. And that's not even taking into account the steps that need to be put into place to support customers who prefer speaking on the phone and paper-based forms.

Achieving the pace of change and adoption needed to make digital transformation a success using a broad approach is often unrealistic. Our 2017-2018 survey found that only 46% of respondents believe they have a 'fit-for-purpose' self-service strategy in place, for example, and just 18% feel their customer relationship management system (CRM) or self-service system provides everything they need.


Start small and scale up

For local authorities looking to transform their services, a one-size fits all solution is simply out of the question, and they'll often need solutions to address specific issues and pain points.

Gateshead Council, for example, needed a way to convert manual paper reporting of fly-tipping, over to automatic case management that even works in real-time, saving the entire department time, money, and unnecessary duplication.

That's why many local authorities like Gateshead are looking to the opposite end of the scale - by transforming specific departments and functions first, and then expanding out through the organisation.


A scalable solution is the answer

But while this method works for some, it's not without its problems. For instance, implementing, managing and evolving several different technology solutions over time can be costly, and sometimes counter-productive.

What's more, several solutions working together can be overly complicated and completely unnecessary. And the more systems you add, the bigger the integration challenge.

A single, scalable solution can be a much more manageable way to make transformation happen. And by rolling out new solutions on a smaller scale, local authorities can test how they perform with minimal impact on the organisation, gain buy-in from other departments, and easily scale-up the solution.


What GOSS can offer

Our significant experience supporting digital transformation for public sector clients like Gateshead, Dumfries and Galloway, Powys, South Tyneside, and Breckland Councils means we're well placed to supply not only technology solutions, but also professional services and support.

We've recently released an array of flexible technology solutions that enable organisations to digitalise specific end-to-end processes or departments, and then build on that to transform further areas of the organisation. We did this in response to the slower than expected pace of digital transformation in local authorities, and to give organisations more flexibility in how they procure technology solutions.

They're all now available on G-Cloud 10 and can be used as standalone solutions, or as part of a combined single solution. Our new solutions and services structure comprises of five core components:


  • GOSS Platforms

A suite of digital of solutions that can also be broken into its standalone components which include GOSS Content, GOSS Forms, GOSS SelfServe, and GOSS Digital Platform. Each solution is designed to work independently or can be combined to provide a complete end-to-end solution across all functions and departments to enable a full digital transformation.    


  • GOSS Enable It

GOSS Enable It solutions enable you to configure, create, and deploy specific digital processes across your organisation as they're needed: including online application forms, online bookings, and case management. For example, if your organisation has an immediate requirement for a bookings system, GOSS Enable It provides an out-of-the-box solution that you can build upon in future.


  • GOSS for Business

Our GOSS for Business solutions address specific use cases, such as insurance claims or complaints management. They're out-the-box solutions designed to be implemented quickly on a departmental basis rather than across the whole organisation, making them easy to use and keeping the cost of adoption low.


  • GOSS Expansions

Add-ons for GOSS Platforms, GOSS Enable It, and GOSS Business Solutions, which can be used to expand existing functions. For example, Find My Nearest can be added to GOSS Content to help users to locate community amenities, Payment Connectors can supplement GOSS Forms with online payment for services, and Bookings can extend the functionality of GOSS SelfServe by scheduling community activities.


  • GOSS Professional Services

Practical help and advice from experienced consultants to help you to plan and implement digital transformation at your own pace (GOSS Transform), and ensure your digital services are optimised for UX, UI, and accessibility (GOSS Creative).


Find out more on G-Cloud 10

For more information on our digital transformation solutions for local authorities - including detailed pricing information and full specifications - you can visit the latest UK Government G-Cloud 10 online catalogue here.


You can also download the latest GOSS Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector Survey Report 2017-18 here.