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Challenges and opportunities for digital transformation within the public sector

A typical red phone booth

The UK government has been moving toward digital transformation for about 8 years. Back in 2012, the first strategy was announced, detailing a plan to become ‘digital by default’. This meant the government planned a redesign of all its digital services, making them incredibly straightforward for everyone to use.

It got off to a great start when the website even won Design of the Year in 2013.


In 2017, we saw another transformation strategy come about. A paper was released detailing the progress made to that point. It explained in granular detail what the plan was for both the organisations and bodies within the public sector and the general public, up to this year. It noted the vital need for digital transformation and aimed to achieve joined services with a seamless experience of data flowing between department.s

The UK government has paved the way regarding digital transformation and many other countries have followed our lead. The GDS (Government Digital Service) is responsible for rolling out digital services to people; which includes online portals amongst many other things.

Challenges faced by the local gov

It’s the familiar story that comes up as a challenge: Spending cuts and/or a lack of appropriate funding. The desire for change is very much alive, along with the will to change tools and workflows to meet the goal of meeting the needs of the people. The finances need to match up, though.

A red triangular warning sign with scissors cutting a pound symbol in half

To make things even trickier, those needs are dynamic. We’re all accustomed to efficient experiences and transactions in today’s online world. When we don’t get this, it becomes a frustration. We’ve seen a lot of progress, but the challenge is keeping up with changing demands.

Remember, too, that public sector organisations are quite big and complicated. They rely on old infrastructure. When considering cloud solutions, common barriers are both legacy technology and supplier lock-in. Whilst the government has recruited many, many tech specialists in its attempt to become digital-by-default, there’s still more that can be done.

Finally, there are many considerations for a public sector organisation when trying to achieve an effective digital transformation. They need a solution that empowers them to meet compliance standards and control risk whilst offering a great user experience and boost employee productivity. This is all expected whilst saving costs!

It’s not all bad, there are some opportunities…

Tech presents an overwhelming growth opportunity for public sector organisations. Cloud-based solutions are poignant at the moment; enabling staff to work from home.

Ditto security management systems that reduce the risk of infrastructure downtime, so organisations can meet compliance regulations in a way that is more efficient and cost-saving.

The introduction of GDPR made this transformation vital. Since 2018 we’ve had tighter regulations regarding public data. The public sector felt this heavily and the opportunity arose for significant efficiency boosts and the delivery of superior user experiences. Data privacy measures have only become tighter in recent times.

Digital transformation does save public sector organisations money. Switching to a cloud-based way of working facilitates dramatic productivity gains which essentially means getting more for less — who could say no to that?

A piggy bank sat next to 4 piles of pound coins with wooden blocks on top spelling out “2020”

Code Enigma is immersed in public sector initiatives that facilitate putting its organisations in touch with technology that makes positive changes. We’re keen to work with organisations interested in LocalGov Drupal and Local Digital.

You can find all our services on G Cloud 12.




Code Enigma is a community of creative souls and the technically brilliant, dedicated to building a better world wide web.

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Maygen Jacques

Maygen Jacques

Marketing Manager for web design, development and hosting agency, @CodeEnigma. Hold my drink, I’ll be right back…

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