Last updated: 24.04.14

Government organisations falling behind the times

The majority of government executives believe that their companies are not doing enough to stay abreast of the latest technological developments. In recent years, the public sector has come under increasing pressure to save costs by capitalising on digital and web-enabled platforms to increase efficiency. However, the study, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, reveals that two-thirds feel their organisations need to change faster to keep up.

The report, which was commissioned by technology specialist Ricoh, indicated that 71 per cent of these organisations have experienced some degree of technology-driven change in the last three years and a number also have clear ideas in place about how they can further adapt to newer technologies. Recruiting staff (45 per cent) and improving core business processes (44 per cent) are the two areas in which they expect to see the biggest changes over the coming three years.

According to the survey, while external commentators continue to call for public sector innovation, just 27 per cent of the surveyed respondents actually feel under significant or extreme external pressure to do so. This is despite the fact that the majority are willing to acknowledge that adapting to technological change is necessary.

Alasdair McCormick, national sales director for the government sector at Ricoh UK, said: “As the public become increasingly tech-savvy, they expect organisations to adapt in parallel and provide services that meet their expectations. They no longer want to take part in complex, document heavy processes when in most other aspects of their life everything is faster and digital.

“Alongside customer satisfaction with effective digitised processes there are, of course, cost savings, derived from reduced duplication, increased productivity and less waste.”

Training is one area where technology can lead to significant cost savings while also helping improve staff retention rates and simplifying the surrounding administrative processes.. Virtual learning systems online allow staff members to upskill in as efficient a manner as possible, fitting in small and flexible learning modules around their regular commitments.