The majority of senior decision makers in local government believe that a capability gap in their IT function will prevent their organisation from delivering business and service transformation, according to new research by not-for-profit public-sector managed cloud services provider Eduserv.
The findings are contained in a new report “Putting IT at the Heart of Local Government Strategy” which finds that while two thirds of councils (66%) are now involving the IT function in the early stages of strategic planning around business and digital transformation, three quarters (74%) question the IT capabilities within their council to drive through the planned changes.
The report also finds that the majority of senior decision makers agree the focus for the IT function needs to be broader than simply cutting costs.
Around two thirds of senior decision makers said IT needed to focus on improving information sharing (67%) and systems to support their delivery of services (65%). Currently, just over one in two said current information sharing (54%) and IT systems (53%) were suitable for their current or future needs.
Overall, just over half of senior decision makers (55%) believed their organisation would address the shortfall in capability and a substantial majority (85%) say a lack of investment is undermining the quality of services.
Commenting on the findings Andrew Hawkins, Public Sector Director at Eduserv said: “Whilst it is good news that the majority of councils understand the need for IT to play a strategic role in business transformation and the delivery of services online, the capability gap identified by Eduserv’s research is a clear risk for any organisation which wants to succeed in its goals.
Driving through digital transformation in local government relies on having the right strategy, the right IT infrastructure and the right people to deliver the changes needed.
Organisations who take shortcuts in their investment in people or infrastructure not only increase the risks of failure in their change initiatives but almost certainly increase the ultimate cost of that change.”