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310% growth and £8.74m savings expected for public sector digital self-service by 2018

New research shows the availability of public sector services through digital self-service is expected to grow by 310% over the next three years, with public sector organisations expecting to save £8.74 million each over the same period.

Digital Self-Service survey

A survey of 355 senior managers from across 256 public sector organisations reveals that two-thirds plan to have 50% or more of services delivered by online self-service in three years' time, compared with just one-tenth of survey respondents who already deliver more than 50%. 

also reveals that organisations each expect to save on average £1.42 million from self-service in the next 12 months, with 12% expecting to save £3 million or more.

Digital self-service is expected to grow considerably, with survey respondents stating that on average 19% of services are available digitally today and that they expect this to grow to 50% of services within 3 years. 

The survey revealed that rubbish and recycling is the service area expected to have the most impact for digital self-service in the next 12 months. Council tax, planning and housing are also high priority strategic areas for the online self-service agenda. 

Rob McCarthy, CEO, GOSS Interactive, said:

In local government, there is a strategic move from shifting ad-hoc services to digital channels to having a cross-organisation 'self-service platform' approach. The next 12 months will be a critical time, with many organisations planning to significantly increase self-service to address budget deficits and improve service delivery. To this end, public sector organisations are working hard to deliver an integrated end-to-end approach to digital in general and self-service in particular.

"Even today, analysis of GOSS clients' web traffic shows that upwards of 40% of public sector transactions take place outside office hours and that figure is only set to increase. To meet these challenges, digital self-service is no longer optional - it is essential.

Many organisations are already beginning to successfully accelerate online self-service to achieve significant cost savings and improve customer service. 

Wolverhampton City Council has saved around £25,000 on one service it launched a GOSS My Account facility and an online self-service tip permits solution in April 2015. By delivering a range of services through online self-service the council expects to achieve targets of £1.3 million customer service savings by 2016/17, while improving the experience of 240,000 local citizens. 

Paul O'Rourke, Performance Manager, Wolverhampton City Council, said: 

By making tip permits available through online self-service, we've achieved over 180 monthly requests, removed administration tasks, improved recycling centre management and delivered a 24/7 service with SMS reminders for customers. We achieved return on investment in less than two months.

Colchester Borough Council has improved online engagement ahead of introducing wider digital services and started realising significant cost savings. 

Mandy Jones, Customer Demand and Research Manager, Colchester Borough Council, said: 

We have already achieved a 56% improvement in online engagement in the first few months after launching a new top task website and cutting 400 pages down to just over 1000. 

It has laid the groundwork for us to introduce wider digital self-service and has helped us realise £300k of savings last year. We're on budget for £400k savings this year.

More examples of successful online self-service delivery are included in the full Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector 2015 report, . 

Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector 2015 is the largest benchmark survey of its kind in the UK. Devised and conducted by GOSS Interactive, it reveals organisations' approaches to self-service, the benefits they are already achieving and their plans to accelerate digital self-service in the coming months and years.