Digital government and the productivity puzzle

Digital government and the productivity puzzle

At the time of writing we are only in the first week of 2018 and already it is shaping up to be a year in which digital comes very much to the forefront of business. Let’s start with the general data protection regulations (GDPR) which come into force on 25th May.

Essentially a replacement of the data protection regulations, complying with GDPR requires virtually every organisation to review its data protection and retention policies. Under the new regulations companies now have to demonstrate that good data protection is a cornerstone of business policies and practices. There is more protection for consumers and more privacy considerations for organisations; and that in the first instance requires organisations to take firm steps to, in the words of the ICO commissioner, “understand and mitigate the risk they create for others in exchange for using a person’s data.”

GDPR moves digital storage out from the preserve of IT and embeds it firmly across organisations. Directors may need to tweak their organisational culture, strategy and values to bring the ideal of respect for private data into the mainstream of the way in which businesses operate. And with fines for non-compliance being substantial, data privacy is now an integral element of strong governance.

But GDPR isn’t the only player in the move to make 2018 the year of digital.  2017 may have seen the Government re-launch its digital strategy but the start of 2018 has been marked by the launch of a campaign by the Institute of Directors to boost the digital public/private partnership. Supported by a report produced by the IoD in conjunction with Atos, the campaign aims to tackle one strand of the productivity puzzle by leveraging private expertise in order to boost the government’s digital capability.

Following consultation with IoD members alongside a review of ‘real world examples’ the report’s authors propose nine principles for effective public/private digital partnerships.  These include:

  • Setting the strategy and environment for innovation
  • Adopting an agile approach to project outcomes
  • Identify productivity growth and savings opportunities
  • Establish KPIs that map to both the industrial digital landscape, the new age of collaboration working, and identify and measure goals in this new digital world

Commenting on the launch of the campaign IoD Director General, Stephen Martin, said “There has been progress through initiatives like the Government Digital Service, now it is time to pick up the pace, and unleash the public sector’s digital potential.”

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