Public sector needs the channel if it is going to grow revenues

Civica has identified a need for more commercialisation in the public sector but finds that the channel will play a role to help local authorities get there

Regardless of who is sitting in Number 10 Downing Street the challenge for the public sector remains one of doing more with less.

Despite most public sector organisations recognising that they have to use more digital technology to generate revenues there are skill issues that prevent most from being as bold as they would like.

It s for that reason that the channel has a key role to play, according to research from Civica and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA).

A piece of research, titled the Commercial Imperative, found that digital was seen as the most important revenue generating opportunity as local authorities looked for ways to generate more cash.

When the various CEOs were asked what they thought the steps they should take to ensure success were the channel featured prominently. The top answer was to outsource some aspects of the business to IT experts and the second was to form partnerships with those capable of delivering the expertise they were looking for.

In addition there was also a recognition that moving systems to the cloud would be a smart move, as would using more big data and analytics tools and trying to make more processes automated.

“Local authorities are juggling a wide-range of transformational activities. While adding commercialisation to the mix may seem daunting, with no sign of financial and service demand pressures abating – it’s essential,” said Wayne Story, Group CEO of Civica.

“As always, those who make the journey with the most passion, commitment to success and flexibility will be the ones who see the best results. And ultimately will be the ones who most improve the lives of the communities in which they operate,” he added.

The pressure for local authorities to be more commercial is only going to increase in the future and Rob Whitman, chief executive of CIPFA, said that steps needed to be taken now to try to make the task of increasing revenues easier in the future.

“If they haven’t already, council leaders and CFOs must start thinking about short, medium and long term strategies for generating their own income. Reappraising their appetite for risk is vital to making these endeavours successful,” he added “A thorough review of risk management, cost and modelling systems, together with open conversation at a board level can make it easier.”​

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