Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for people-centric organizations, has announced its findings of its 2023 State of the Digital Nation survey which examined the progress in digital transformation made by public sector institutions in the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden since the last research was undertaken in 2021.
Its latest study interviewed 300 public sector professionals across central and local government, non-governmental bodies and healthcare.
The survey found the average time for completing digital transformation programs is two-three years, suggesting there has been little progress in speeding up delivery since 2021. The most likely priority when it came to cost savings was to adopt lower-cost collaboration solutions that deliver efficiencies, whereas in 2021 it was by making cuts to citizen or community services.
Additionally, changing priorities has been the key challenge in the last 24 months, resulting in transformation initiatives being halted when organizations attempted to adapt to changing services and targets. The three most likely areas where organizations have seen changes to services and targets were: greater pressure to deliver efficiency savings (37 percent), public pressure to improve spending transparency (34 percent) and growing central services/shared service footprint (33 percent).
Compared to the 2021 study, respondents’ organizations are more likely to be completely confident that projects to transform the back office will be delivered on time in 2023 (52 percent) vs 41 percent in 2021 and will be delivered on budget this year (46 percent) compared to two years ago (43 percent). This may be borne out of the necessity to ensure project delivery is micro-managed in the face of growing scrutiny of budgets.
“It is understandable that efficiency is the watchword for most public sector organizations today, amid an ever-increasing level of scrutiny over spending,” said Chris Richards, regional president UKI, Unit4. “Against such a backdrop, the reality is that organizations are simply focused on making sure services are delivered, but we see the warning signs that it is getting harder to do this within budget and without raising taxes. Even with such pressure, though, it is critical to retain focus on long-term transformation goals, as ultimately this is what will benefit citizens and revolutionize services.”