Essential Guide

Essential Guide: Digital transformation in the public sector

Transforming public service delivery


Public sector bodies are rapidly implementing digital transformation strategies to improve their engagement with citizens, deliver better public services, cut costs and to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital technologies and best practices offer enormous opportunities to improve efficiency, overhaul ageing legacy IT infrastructures, and even to take a new look at how to best serve the needs of citizens in an increasingly online world.

But it's a tough task - stories of problematic projects abound - but those organisations in government, healthcare, education and elsewhere that get digital transformation right are proving that the effort and investment reaps significant rewards.

In this essential guide, we look at examples of best practice, the challenges of digital government, the lessons being learned by digital, data, and technology professionals, and the benefits of success.

1Digital engagement-

Transforming citizen engagement

Citizens increasingly expect public bodies to offer digital services as good as they receive from the likes of Amazon or Google - but how well are organisations delivering digital engagement?


Changing realities of digital transformation in the public sector

Digitisation of citizen service delivery and government operations has accelerated during the coronavirus outbreak, despite legacy constraints Continue Reading


Public sector IT: The road to digital

Progress to digital transformation is patchy in the public sector, but some CIOs are embracing the strategy Continue Reading


How software can support public involvement with democracy

Iceland, Scotland and Sweden have experimented with using online software to involve citizens more deeply in democratic processes. The key seems to be encouraging enlightened debate Continue Reading


Trust in government technology is key to adoption

Panellists at GovTech Summit 2020 speak about the need to build trust in government digital services, as the pandemic has created room for increased use of technology in the public sector Continue Reading


Digital public services fail UK citizens on multiple fronts

Commission for Smart Government publishes paper on obstacles facing the UK’s digital government, setting out principles for digital government initiatives to follow Continue Reading

2Transforming processes-

Transforming ways of working

In the constant drive to deliver more efficient and lower-cost public services, digitally transforming ways of working and internal processes offers a step-change in improvement.


Five pillars of public sector IT

Finding better ways for people to collaborate and share information digitally is the challenge government needs to embrace. We look at ways in which this can be achieved Continue Reading


How tech leads local government innovation in Vienna, Helsinki and Belfast

Digital leaders in the cities of Vienna, Helsinki and Belfast are innovating new services to help citizens and local economies Continue Reading


Nordic CIO interview: Stefan Olowsson, Swedish Social Insurance Agency

Stefan Olowsson, CIO at Sweden’s Försäkringskassan, helps to ensure social security payments run smoothly, which is a balancing act of innovation, data security and reliable delivery Continue Reading


How an Estonian digital nation emerged from the embers of Soviet rule

Estonia’s minister for foreign trade and IT tells Computer Weekly how the country went from having no governmental infrastructure in the early 1990s to acquiring the label “digital nation” Continue Reading


Government IT leaders on how Covid crisis will shape future delivery

At a TechUK Building the Smarter State event, government IT leaders shared their experience of the coronavirus crisis, and their thinking about how future service delivery will aim to be more joined-up for citizens Continue Reading

3Data integration-

Transforming use of data

All public sector bodies carry a significant investment in legacy IT, with data often siloed in disparate systems. Better data sharing and integration is one of the keys to successful digital public services.


Governing by data: Limits and opportunities

Governing by the use of data analytics may be fashionable, but what are its limits as well as its opportunities? Lessons from Estonia, Essex, and healthcare Continue Reading


Data insights will define post-coronavirus city planning

Who would have imagined that in 2020, the majority of people would work remotely and buy online? Cities are going to have to change how they are set up Continue Reading


Interview: Frankie Kay, interim director general for data capability, ONS

The Office for National Statistics’ interim director general for data capability talks about how data plays an important role in the battle against Covid-19 and how the pandemic has unearthed new ways of collaborating Continue Reading


Nordic countries to develop common digital system

Common digital platform will help small and medium-sized enterprises across the Nordic region with data sharing Continue Reading


Government publishes long-promised national data strategy

The government has published a national data strategy aimed at fostering innovation and increasing economic growth. It will also appoint 10 data fellows each year to work in the orbit of Number 10, and create 500 analyst jobs by 2021 Continue Reading

4Case studies-

Digital transformation in action

We look at some of the real-life examples of digital government transformation in action


CIO Interview: Siim Sikkut, Estonian government CIO

Siim Sikkut is one of a generation of tech native Estonians, who is turning his knowledge and experience to transforming government services Continue Reading


DWP accelerates digital transformation amid Covid-19 crisis

The Department for Work and Pensions has released an update of the efforts made in the past six months across key digital services, with progress accelerating due to the pandemic Continue Reading


CIO interview: Theo Blackwell, CDO for London

Digital and data are transforming the way London runs – from transport to public services. The first ever chief digital officer for London explains how his team are going about it Continue Reading


CIO interview: Paul Neville, director of digital and ICT, Waltham Forest

The IT chief at one of the most digitally advanced London boroughs talks to Computer Weekly about the past, present and future of tech-enabled transformation in times of crisis Continue Reading


CIO interview: Mark Gannon, director of business change and information, Sheffield City Council

Like many organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital change in Sheffield, and its IT leader is looking to build further on that momentum Continue Reading

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