IT hinders UK public sector response to pandemic

In all of Europe, the UK’s public services sector experienced the biggest shift to remote working, during the Covid-19 pandemic. They were also the ones most critical of the IT solutions that were supposed to help them do their job, saying that instead, it hindered their efforts.

Polling 3,500 public servants all over Europe, BearingPoint found that almost two thirds (58 percent) of UK public servants believed their service quality could be improved with a remote model.

Even though a significant minority (38 percent) said they were in need of a faster, newer computer, few were interested in the latest tablet or touchscreen device to get the job done. A third said they needed better apps, as well as access to better IT infrastructure.

But despite the criticism, the majority of UK’s public servants see remote working as a positive change. Almost three quarters (73 percent) said the Covid-19 crisis has either had a positive, or neutral effect on teamwork.

Looking forward, BearingPoint argues that if the UK’s public service is to make the hybrid working model a success, it needs to rely on an effective allocation of tasks and careful planning of those activities carried out face-to-face rather than remotely.

“In the UK and across Europe, public sector organizations need to prioritize investments in basic IT hardware and infrastructure to enable more effective remote working and delivery of services,” said Stewart Johns, Partner at BearingPoint.

“Remote working requires effective platforms for collaboration and remote conferencing, and professionalizing the use of collaborative platforms such as MS Teams, will also future-proof service delivery and maintain public sector morale during these challenging times, and beyond.”

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