How disruptive are you prepared to be?
Keith Martin, Phoenix Software’s Director of Public Sector, looks at the part that disruption is playing in the Public Sector
“When you think about disruption in the Public Sector, you may think about services that are not working as they should or things that are impacting or frustrating citizens. This of course is disruptive and disruptive in a negative way. In addition to negative disruption we are witnessing a significant change across our Public Sector customers and this change is built upon positive disruption. Let me explain …
When we look back at the challenges that Public Sector bodies have faced through the years of austerity, they have been hit hard with budget cuts, redundancies, buildings having to be sold off etc. These challenges actually drove a huge amount of change in the Public Sector.
If you think about it, with less people in the business, Public Sector bodies had to look at ways to increase productivity as citizens were becoming increasingly tech savvy – services needed to improve. This perfect storm led to a huge amount of innovation and there are some fantastic stories out there of how Local Authorities, Police Forces and NHS Trusts have all innovated and used IT to drive their business and services forward.
More recently Public Sector bodies have been looking extensively at the cloud and what the cloud would mean to them as a business. This is where positive disruption really comes into play. The cloud is not a simple conversation, it is not just let’s move email to the cloud and let’s look to move our infrastructure to the cloud. It is not lift and shift – in fact lift and shift is the last thing organisations should be looking at.
The cloud is a chance to re-evaluate your business, re-evaluate how you deliver services, a chance to look at your core systems, a chance to deliver new focus on those systems and a chance to truly transform how you operate. The cloud is not just about technology, cloud is about change, cultural change, the ability to change how you engage with all areas of the business and its customers.
To me the biggest competition to cloud is not an on-premise solution, it’s not perceived cost, it is the risk of change, inertia, the ease of status quo. People often fear change and people talk about going through periods of change within a business environment as if it’s a finite timeline, however it’s not, and many of our Public Sector customers are embracing this. Change is ongoing – businesses evolve and the core services may remain the same, but the delivery of them evolves. Forward thinking organisations are seeing that disruption as positive.
As we look at regions starting to collaborate, the silos within Public Sector are breaking up. That doesn’t mean they were not fit for purpose when originally implemented, it just means that technology is driving new innovative ways of working. That disruption will have a dramatic and positive effect on citizens. Whether its spoken about or not, I believe that regions compete and that competition is often over investment. Those regions that have that infrastructure in place, those who have worked together to disrupt their traditional model, to change the way they work internally and how they present services to their citizens, those that can provide proactive rather than reactive services are the ones that stand a good chance of being truly successful.
In my next blog I will talk more about Smart Cities and Smart Regions – I’ve got something interesting to share …”