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Digital transformation of the public sector needs to include back-office staff

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How to harness the digital transformation of the public sector?

The public-sector view of digital transformation

In France, although all public-sector bodies have begun their digital transformation, reservations linger as regards progress with the process and the perceived actual benefits for public-sector workers and officials. Only 46% of these staff believe the digitalisation of procedures is working satisfactorily.

This figure is indicative of some great disparities between public-sector organisations. Decentralised services and local government and authorities are in particular lagging behind the national government and centralised departments and authorities. This is a gap that users, and importantly public-sector staff, can see every day of the week.

Despite the gradual elimination of paper documentation, staff working for local bodies sometimes experience a “digital paperwork” phenomenon and feel that their workload has actually increased, as regardless of front-office system modernisation, the back office often remains poorly suited to staff needs.

Obstacles to effective adoption of new tools include resistance to change, a drop in quality of service with the switch to digital, the lack of proximity to users, cyber risks, and the management of personal data.
However, problems with processing user requests have a more fundamental cause, namely an approach to digitalisation and the systems used by staff that often leaves much room for improvement.

Effective modernisation of back-office tools needs to be approached from a different angle

The impression of administrative overload that persists despite digitalisation is generally a sign of an incomplete or poorly orchestrated transformation.

For most of their work, public-sector staff members still use office tools that are ill-suited to either centralising or transmitting information. The result is an organisation full of holes, with security shortcomings, and generating additional work.

All too often, digitalisation is viewed as a simple shift from paper-based procedures to electronic documents. In fact, the entire system needs to be redesigned around the end user, equipping staff with powerful tools that are aligned with internal processes and practices.

Effective transformation of an organisation therefore entails acting on a number of fronts:

  • Simplification of administrative procedures, and therefore how they are processed
  • Increased security and trust in data processing (single sign-on for easy access, strong protection for personal data, data quality, etc.)
  • A change of perspective on government departments, still considered to be data silos
  • Integrated systems that will communicate better and faster, delivering a positive impact on quality of service.

To blend these four aspects to best effect, public-sector back offices have to be redesigned and harmonised. By capitalising on public-sector organisations’ processes and best practices, a common application foundation can be put in place. Specific functional components can then be added to this foundation by individual public-sector bodies as they require.

The resulting simplification should ensure buy-in from public sector staff and build user trust. For local and national government organisations, user-friendly, intuitive systems will smooth acceptance of the changes, and reluctance will dissipate. For the general public, it is important to provide the best possible data security guarantees to rebuild high-quality dialogue. As international experiences in this area – and in particular the Danish model – show, trust is key to building the widest possible use of online services.

Blueway’s solutions to handle every aspect of public sector digital transformation

Although they might appear to be two different things, user buy-in and public-sector staff buy-in are in reality inseparable.

Intuitiveness and the user experience with systems both have a great influence over the quality of service and the feeling of proximity on which users are so keen. Smooth handling of requests, supported by an effective information system, is the key to proper end-to-end processing under digital procedures, and consequently to user satisfaction.

To address both of these aspects, Blueway offers a range of solutions entirely designed for national government and local authorities to support you in meeting your digital transformation and user relationship management (URM) challenges. It incorporates other supplementary components, such as:

A Back-office URM employee area

The Back-office URM employee area is designed to facilitate staff’s data input, tracking and processing of work by providing a 360° picture of requests.

Besides dashboards and tools offering visibility over requests, the employee area unifies communication with functional applications and keeps data use secure.

 

Tools to simplify staff routines

Applications to simplify employee’s routine tasks and administrative requirements will streamline working methods. Staff gain independence in their internal requests with the HR staff gateway in particular. Management’s work is also made easier, and the principle of operational excellence can be applied in a practical way through process optimisation and the implementation of a continuous improvement process (measurement of performance, process analysis, etc.).

IS re-engineering solutions

IS re-engineering improves communication between applications, even when their running environments are very different. More available and connected, applications provide a more responsive and higher quality processing of requests. Information continuity together with better governance and greater trust in data and data traffic all support public-sector staff’s work throughout the request lifecycle.

Combined as needed within an integrated platform, these software components provide public-sector bodies with key solutions that can be easily mixed and matched to work together for a better internal organisation
Building on this standardised basis, custom graphical interfaces and bespoke modelling of internal processes will allow the system to be adapted to suit individual organisations.

The objective is to employ the resources and people available to best effect to redefine procedures in an online context. By redesigning management and process, local authorities can truly implement operational excellence and ultimately entirely digitalise and optimise their processes, for both their users and their staff.

Auteur
Pierre Boizard
Director, Blueway Public Sector Firmly committed to the IT modernization of public services, Pierre has been working with the State and local authorities for over 17 years, specializing in this sector and its challenges, particularly in the areas of social welfare, transport, education and the environment.
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