The main findings from our Public Sector Digital Leaders Forum held on 1st November last year are now available.

Using an Interactive Audience Polling Tool, the results provide a very useful snapshot of the state of public sector digital transformation in Scotland year end 2018.

While there is growing acceptance of the need for Scotland’s public sector to transform digitally, only limited progress has been made in leveraging the full potential of emerging technologies for enhancing the citizen experience; building efficient, agile digital workplaces; and reimagining service delivery.

Most public sector organisations in Scotland remain fixed at an early experimental stage on their transformation journey. Few have yet fully embedded digital technology at the core of everything they do.

 Key Findings

  • Despite wide acceptance that digital can deliver more cost efficient, agile and citizen focused public services, fewer than half of public sector organisations in Scotland view digital supported transformation as being ‘mission critical’.
  • Fewer than one-third have an agreed digital transformation strategy in place providing a roadmap for change.
  • Progress in transforming service delivery has been slow with 81 percent of respondents stating that ‘little or only limited’ progress has been made. Only 15 per cent stated that ‘good progress’ was being made in digitally transforming service delivery.
  • The absence of digital leadership, organisational culture issues and digital skills shortages were identified as the three most important barriers to transformational change in Scotland’s public sector. Seventy-three per cent of respondents stated that their organisation lacked digital leadership. Other barriers to progress included fear, funding, resources and perceived risk.
  • Externally, few public sector organisations are leveraging the full potential of digital for delivering exceptional customer experiences at Key Moments of Truth in the customer journey. Only 15 percent of respondents stated that they were making good progress in this area.
  • Internally, many public sector organisations in Scotland continue to exhibit the classic symptoms of pre-digital workplaces – hierarchical, bureaucratic and controlling organisational structures; silos; ‘productivity busters’ such as excessive use of e-mail and numerous meetings; legacy technology and legacy management thinking; lack of innovation and staff engagement; poor communications; decision-making based on hunch rather than analytics.
  • Less than a third of respondents agreed that digital natives would find their organisation an attractive place to work.

Public sector digital transformation was one of the core objectives stated in the updated National Digital Strategy for Scotland published in March 2017. The results from our recent Forum suggest that considerable progress still needs to be made before the vision of matching the expansion of digital public services with reform of the structure and ways of working of the organisations that deliver them” is achieved.

How can we accelerate change?

A more detailed report covering the main findings from our Forum will be available very shortly.