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Public sector must partner with private to avoid missing out on new technology

Experts believe partnership is the way forward for the public sectors development.

By April Slattery

Over three quarters of company directors worry about the public sector’s ability to take advantage of developing technology, according to a new survey.

The Institute of Directors (IoD), supported by Atos, carried out a survey across almost 1,000 business leaders looking at the productivity of the public sector.

Findings revealed that 77% of respondents do not think the public sector is effectively equipped to take as much advantage of changes due to advances in technology such as automation, in the next year in comparison to private sector companies.

Compared to digital services across the private sector, 61% of respondents believe the public sector provide a worse service with 60% worrying the public sector does not make use of expertise from the private sector as just over half of respondents (51%) believe a new model is needed for organisations.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors: “While there has been some improvement in recent years, business leaders still feel the public sector is lagging well behind when compared against the innovation we’ve seen from companies.

Public sector must partner with private to avoid missing out on technology

Business leaders believe the public sector needs to take on private sector expertise.


“Our members are both providers and users of government digital services. They are very keen that the Government make better use of the knowledge and experience that exists in businesses of all sizes.

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The survey suggests that a new open partnership with the private sector will give the public sector the boost it needs in order to take advantage of the emerging technology within 2018, as the IoD suggest in the report that digital services will grow across the sector over the next year thanks to the partnership.

Kulveer Ranger, Vice President, Strategy and Communications, Atos UK & Ireland: “By being open to a new partnership paradigm, government – and more importantly, government procurement – has the opportunity to harness greater innovation for the benefit of the citizen, and deliver improved productivity and value for the taxpayer.”

Furthermore, 60% of respondents believe a better use of data from the public sector could reduce time complying with new and existing regulation, with almost half (49%) thinking this could lead to a more productive sector.

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To improve the productivity of the public sector leaders believe the government should focus on services it wants to deliver rather than developing products itself and improving how it works with technology firms, large or small.

Despite over three quarters of respondents sharing their concern over the public sector’s adoption of new technologies, over half of the leaders surveyed admitted seeing a positive impact since the launch of the Government’s Digital Service (GDS) in 2011.

Martin said: “Raising the UK’s productivity is the driving force behind the Government’s economic policy, so they should be looking for opportunities to work with the private sector to improve their digital offering. This could make life easier for small firms in particular, freeing up time for our members to spend improving their businesses.”

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