Abstracts: February 27th, 2014

Digital programmes are having an impact from school age to old age, but progress on adopting technology is slow and patchy.

This report from the Society of IT Management describes the impact digital projects are having on citizens and highlights uneven progress.

Examples of successful projects include a primary school in Wales where all pupils have their own iPad, Glasgow’s ‘smart city’ plans and the digital transformation of East Riding of Yorkshire council.

Based on this review, including research with 30 authorities leading on digital, Socitm says that few are able to demonstrate good practice holistically across all their activities. Tellingly, this cohort rate their commitment to digital ahead of their implementation of it and generally, organisations featured in the report exemplify good practice in just one or two specific aspects of digital delivery.

Despite this, the report brings together a comprehensive library of 27 good practice examples from local public services, organised under the 15 ‘digital principles’ Socitm has defined for local public service organisations looking to embracing digital fully. These principles include customer experience, engagement, ways of working, service re-design and demand management.

Another key feature of the report is a review of areas of public service that have not made great progress on digital to date, including health, housing, benefits and social care.

The report shows how the pace of digital is now accelerating in these areas, driven by austerity, but also by demographic factors, particularly the impact of an ageing population on the public finances, and the advent of universal credit.

Better with less: delivering local public services in the digital age is available from Socitm. £345. It can be downloaded here.