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‘Lack of training’ biggest barrier to digitisation of government services

Over half of civil servants feel a lack of training is the biggest block to digital transformation of government services, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,235 civil servants, from European digital transformation company Sopra Steria, found that 53% said a lack of digital training for staff was the biggest barrier to moving services online, compared to 43% in 2015.

John Baskerville, managing director for government at Sopra Steria, said that although the UK was “leading the way globally” on digitisation, the government needed to provide better performance measures and support to address the “increasingly critical” training shortages.

“The benefits of digital transformation can truly be realised as government moves beyond just citizen engagement and into the wider reform of end-to-end business processes,” he said.

The survey also found that although digitisation was already taking place, with 71% of respondents saying it was changing how services were delivered, it was hindered by a lack of performance targets, with 25% saying they had no way of measuring its success.

Matt Hancock MP, minister for the cabinet office, announced a new data protection framework last week, saying government departments needed to do more to exploit the benefits of data gathering and sharing while also safeguarding privacy concerns.

According to the latest survey, although 25-30% of respondents identified the benefits of using data, 40% didn’t know how their department was currently benefiting from it.

Furthermore, just 55% of respondents systematically gathered data and 43% used customer behaviour data.

A recent survey from techUK found that interest from civil servants in digital procurement from SMEs is declining.

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