Do your employees hold the key to digital transformation in the public sector?

Technology is making such rapid leaps forward every day that organisations must adapt or risk getting left behind, says Terry Storrar, our Director of Managed IT Services. But, when it comes to digital transformation in the public sector (and in fact most other organisations) it is not technology itself, but a shift in culture that is the most important ingredient for inspiring real change.

Digital transformation means centralising data and allowing access to it in a way that facilitates improved agility, innovation and efficiency to suit each unique individual and their role. It allows organisations to understand that everyone is a contributor to both the organisation, and the most productive ways of working. Beyond this, it’s also about realising that the tools that people need to do their job today will not be the same tools they need tomorrow.

However, moving from a traditional top down structure to one that embraces multiple ways of working can be a challenge. Resistance and fear of change from individuals, departments and whole organisations must be addressed. Allowing people to decide what tools they need to do their job better rather than telling them how to work is a major cultural shift. For IT departments digital transformation presents new challenges – how can they allow this to happen quickly and, importantly, securely?

Training and education are key to helping organisations best embrace digital transformation, and the approach should be two-fold. Firstly, IT departments must be properly trained in how to keep the new, open systems secure and working effectively. An IT provider who specialises in public sector IT services can offer invaluable advice so that IT teams can then become meaningful agents for change within their organisations. Secondly, education must take place with the wider staff about how they can make best use of the tools available. Empowering staff with the tools, training and knowledge they need will make them happier, more productive and ultimately better at their jobs.

Organisations must properly engage with individuals and move from a top down strategy, to one that listens to and educates everyone. They can then move towards real digital transformation knowing that they are still operating securely and more effectively.