Investing in Resources: Why Digital Transformation Should Be a Priority
Digital transformation has the potential to revolutionise the way public and non-profit organisations function. However, a 2020 report into digital skills within the third sector noted that only half of charities had a digital strategy and less than 10% had implemented a digital transformation process.
Here, we take a look at why the public and non-profit sectors need to prioritise digital transformation.
Why digital transformation?
Moving society online has been happening for some time and its pace is accelerating. We bank online, we order food and clothes online, and we try to set the world to rights by discussing topics with people online. However, until recently, some public and non-profit organisations have perhaps fallen behind.
These sectors often face numerous challenges, not least limited budgets, but outdated IT infrastructure, and a lack of the required skills amongst staff.
The benefits of digital transformation
The potential benefits of digital transformation are huge and include more transparency, enhanced efficiency, optimised services, lower operational costs, more secure data storage, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Private sector customers expect, and generally receive, the highest levels of customer experience online, 24 hours a day, in a way that’s simple and quick and reflects well on the organisation. The public and non-profit sectors, however, can fall behind; working hours are limited, interactions are time consuming and complicated, and staff often don’t have the right resources at their fingertips. Tax payers and donors may demand more.
However, it’s not only the end user that benefits from digital transformation. Staff within the public and non-profit sectors also benefit hugely:
When an organisation’s operations are digitised it becomes more cohesive and staff members are able to communicate more effectively with their target audience, whether that’s passport applicants, patients receiving healthcare or grant recipients.
Inter-departmental communication is also enhanced when technologies within different departments are standardised. This improves data sharing, collaboration, and alignment.
The demands of the public sector and nonprofits change rapidly and agility is essential to keep up with them. Emerging technologies such as AI, virtual reality, and natural language processing increase agility through innovation.
Better data transparency leads to enhanced performance. If public and non-profit sector staff understand the data better, through data capture and management, problems are resolved more efficiently, ideas are more effectively assimilated, and users’ needs are better understood.
Digital transformation also encourages a strong organisational culture better equipped to serve the needs of its end users. Employees who are engaged in digital transformation and are trained to adapt to new ways of working feel relevant and welcome further innovation.
Where should the public sector and non-profits start their digital transformation journey?
The first step towards a digital transformation within the public and non-profit sectors must be an acknowledgment that change is due. A thorough audit of an organisation’s current practices, processes, IT and methodologies will highlight what needs to change and how to maximise the ROI transformation. From there, a vision can be created that will demonstrate its benefit to its end users.
Employee training is also essential to the digital transformation process. Frequently, lack of self-confidence or out-of-date skills will hamper public sector and non-profits’ staff members’ intentions to embrace digital transformation. Training is a simple and cost-effective way to combat these two stumbling blocks.
The perception that digital transformation is prohibitively costly is another hurdle to be overcome. Both the public sector and nonprofits must be seen to be maximising their budgets, which are often tight and subject to scrutiny, and may be reluctant to invest.
Digital transformation has the potential to transform the lives of the people that the public sector and nonprofits touch, and can result in better outcomes, cost savings, and the delivery of greater value. Building a transformation process around customers’ needs and their evolving expectations takes vision and courage, but can change lives in the process.
Get in touch
If you want to know more about building or developing your team, designing the right target operating model and how Global Resourcing can help you achieve your digital transformation goals, connect with our specialist digital, data and tech experts on +44 020 8253 1800 or send us an email.
Alternatively, you can follow the Global Resourcing blog for the latest news and insights into public sector technology and digital transformation.
If you have any other questions or want to learn more about how we help public sector and non-profit organisations solve their talent and diversity challenges, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.