IT vital to 2011 public sector strategy, say council IT chiefs

IT is central to enabling public service reform, according to local government directors.

IT is central to enabling public service reform, according to local government directors.

A survey from IT services company Civica found process re-design was identified as the most popular cost-saving option (63%) followed by mobile working (61%). Both areas were almost double the 2010 figure, said the firm.

Around 47% of respondents said IT was a key investment area to maintain services, while 42% said they would invest in technology to drive service improvements. One in four said making better use of existing IT systems was the key to improving service delivery and making efficiency savings.

Bill Loughrey, managing director at Civica, said: "This is crunch year for councils and their partners. The growing acceptance of new service channels, shared resources and managed services, plus a willingness to use existing technology platforms to re-invent service options, shows a clear drive for innovation within very tightly constrained budgets in the public sector."

Some 52% said shared services are the future for public sector organisations, but 38% said they would only share certain aspects.

Of the 100 officials surveyed, 54% were optimistic about the release of public performance data to management teams to aid planning, while 8% thought it was a bad idea or wouldn't have a practical impact.

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