It is abundantly clear (to me at least) that neither cutting back office functions nor outsourcing services will be anywhere near enough to meet the funding gap faced by the public sector. What is required is a more radical consideration of what the public sector does and how it does it. And at the heart of this lies technology – technology to enable self service, automation, digital by default, flexible working, shared delivery and modern management.
The Local CIO Council and Socitm have been working together to develop a strategic vision for IT-enabled modern public services. This advocates a future where the design, delivery and management of public services is fundamentally changed to take advantage of new ways of working, breaking down the barriers of cross-sector delivery, with the citizen more in control.
The Digital Summit provides us with a chance to shape these opportunities and to address the barriers. It should provide the basis for a stronger local perspective to influence national planning. And it should help to ensure that we are exploiting technology to underpin efficiency, innovation and service improvement instead of seeing it as a risk to avoid or just a utility to outsource.