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Deprioritising tech may be the smart route to public service transformation

talking local government

Release Date: 02/12/2019

Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design show art Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design

talking local government

Professor Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the Royal College of Art talks about collaborations with Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and local authorities

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Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas show art Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas

talking local government

The organisation behind the national Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy sets out threats and counter measures

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Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response show art Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response

talking local government

Businesses made idle by closure of commercial premises are being enabled to support hard-pressed domestic collections  

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World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control show art World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control

talking local government

This third programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at the damage done by the digital mindset (more, cheap, now, throwaway, ‘free’)

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Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect show art Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect

talking local government

Karolina Gerlich of the Care Workers Charity describes current pressures on care workers but their roots lie in years of failure to resolve the sector’s status and funding.

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World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential show art World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential

talking local government

The second programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at corporate IT and digital practices that accelerate environmental damage

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World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right? show art World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right?

talking local government

Gerry McGovern is a globally-recognised web usability expert whose new book sets out the devastation wrought by our over-consumption of all things digital.

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Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn show art Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn

talking local government

Councils could soon have access to an online tool for residents to self-assess their social care needs without face-to-face intervention from an officer.

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Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub show art Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub

talking local government

At around the time Alex Nash was looking for a final year project for his engineering degree at Loughborough University, his grandfather was diagnosed with Dementia. ‘The technology available to him was old, and analogue, and didn’t provide any reassurance to the family that he was OK’ says Alex, nearly five years on. With his degree completed and a fledgling product under his belt, Alex got funding from Innovate UK and matched this with funds from angel investors. Alcuris is now poised to start delivering Memo to local authority customers. As he explains in this programme, the product...

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The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit show art The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit

talking local government

Helena Zaum describes work by Microsoft and other partners to support Manchester City Council’s vision of tech-enabled care within an integrated system

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Jason Kitcat (Essex CC) Richard Farrell of Netcall and Sleuth Co-op’s Hilary Simpson discuss how local authorities might overcome challenges of legacy systems, digital skill shortages and the persistence of old-style procurement.

As Director of Corporate Development, Jason is working for change by getting his Essex colleagues to focus on citizen outcomes and experience, using the tools of service and interaction design, ethnography, data and analytics, recognising there will be many different ways forward, not all of them involving technology.

Richard, whose role at low-code platform provider Netcall involves thinking about the future of IT, says he spends a lot of time ‘filtering hype’ and agrees that tech should be subservient when it comes to change. The company is still getting asked to automate bad processes, and culture remains the biggest challenge.

Skill shortages are also a problem for public service organisations that cannot offer 24-year-old coders Macbooks, pizza and ‘beer o’clock’. But there are various solutions, including making use of the ‘missing 50%’ of the IT/digital workforce (ie women); growing your own; making more use of flexible contracting via the new digital frameworks; and using low-code to deliver customised applications created by business analysts rather than coders.

Procurement comes up again as an issue: why are legacy suppliers STILL getting the contracts? Nobody ever got fired for hiring the usual suspects still applies, apparently, although there is agreement that GCloud and the other new tech frameworks are becoming real game-changers.

This content is sponsored by Netcall