Mobility is a hot topic in government. If you visited Local Government Chronicle’s website on the 3rd of March, you would have read that “only a third of local authority websites have achieved the sector standard for access from mobile devices despite the fact that nearly one in three visits are now made from smart phones.”
On the same day, if you did a Google search, your efforts would have been rewarded with a press release from Aberdeen City Council showcasing how mobile technology “aims to improve the efficiency of the organisation’s building repairs service.”
A few days later, public sector leaders came to London to attend a conference appropriately called, “Mobile Government,” where attendees showcased how they were embracing mobile technologies.
What does this all mean?
If you work at a local authority that is doing something around mobility, then you’re ahead of the curve. If not, it’s time to act before your customers (taxpaying constituency) or colleagues start demanding change.
However, I’d politely argue that most organisations aren’t fully doing their utmost here. Trust me. It’s not due to a lack of effort. The reason for the slow adoption of mobility in the public sector is primary a lack of precedent (and I’m not talking about making a website responsive – thought it’s important considering most people now surf the internet from their phones).
Unlike any other industry adopting mobile technologies, I believe the public sector has the greatest opportunity to innovate. In the case of local authorities, they are not just open to change. They are being actively encouraged to do so by individual taxpayers, businesses and politicians in Parliament.
Yet, most local authorities have failed to fully capitalise on the potential of mobility in their organisation largely due to external factors. Over the past few years, elected officials have been under immense pressure to cut costs. This is good for reducing the deficit and bad for employees because of redundancies.
What’s the way forward?
Continue to embrace mobility with the peddle to the metal. It can be truly transformational. When mobility is used innovatively across the entire organisations such as by human resources, customer care and IT teams, the benefits go far beyond traditional savings to creating value.
Based on our own experience, we estimate that local authorities could save £10.3 million per year if every major internal department were to implement mobility.
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