The UK government is in the process of rethinking its approach to the delivery of digital public services as well as is seeking to accelerate cloud and digital ID adoption, in order to drive digital innovation.
The ‘Proposal for a better digital government’ report by the Commission on Smart Government (CSG) revealed the new for tech skills and the creation of new tech-focused departments. The report also revealed that, although the UK has new digital leadership roles and created a new digital office, the country is still lacking immensely in terms of digital technology.
Indeed, the IT issues faced by the NHS can have serious consequences for the quality of critical services and can lead to increased frustration with government and politics. It is then vital to have a good digital government that can lead projects with confidence and drive innovation.
The report also notes the need for better public services and that requires a digitally-native mindset and infrastructure. It is recommended that the government IT systems move onto the cloud, with accelerated use of a digital ID. Having a cloud-first approach would allow better and quicker digital transformation as well as help deal better with the challenges of the pandemic.
Moreover, the report stated that adopting cloud would allow agencies such as the NHS, businesses, or charities to plug-in into government networks and offer services to citizens or companies.
Hence, the government should aim to move all government services to the cloud by 2023, with all-new digital services built on common cloud infrastructure, which would have integrated data systems deploying registries, open standards, shared components, and open APIs.
The report believes that this approach should help the UK become a digital government leader again.
Furthermore, the report also proposes the creation of a new Department of Digital, Innovation, and Technology as well as the creation of a National Digital Council. It was recommended that the National Digital Council would be co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the new function of Secretary of State for Digital, and would involve all the relevant ministers, as well as the CDO.
Finally, the report proposes the creation of a Digital Whitehall Fund by the Treasury.