Andy Campbell, Global Solution Evangelist at FinancialForce, explains how a modern cloud-based system can help public sector organisations integrate their suite of business applications
The tumultuous political landscape, marked most recently by events such as Brexit and the ongoing pandemic, necessitates public sector organisations be able to react quickly to new operating environments. As portfolios shift, policies evolve and new ministerial priorities come to the fore, today’s government departments and local authorities must develop new business models or adapt their current model to maximise the skill sets and time of staff.
A public sector organisation relies on having accurate and up-to-date information at its disposal in addition to the necessary tools to enable it to create predictive insights. By doing this, organisations can adapt, as well as respond to the implementation of new policies and keep delivering efficient and effective services as the circumstances continue to change. Therefore, a business that operates in the public sector should implement a modern, flexible cloud-based system to integrate its suite of business applications.
Government’s transformation policy
In 2017, the UK government set out its digital transformation strategy – effectively, how it planned to use digital to transform the relationship between the state and the rest of the country, including businesses and citizens. Within this were several different propositions as to how digital services could underpin this transformation:
Cloud-first – The chance to put into place new solutions unbounded by old legacy systems means public sector organisations could focus on the core components of their business while others manage the IT side of things.
Improve data use – This enables businesses to optimise the use of resources between and within organisations, while it also allows them to learn from previous experience, leading to better decision making in the future.
Greater focus on digital – Public sector organisations must develop their digital skills, which will enable them to fully take advantage of the opportunities presented by a digital age. Additionally, there is a need for better digital tools in the workplace so as to make internal activities and processes more efficient.
With these propositions in mind, the public sector can benefit by utilising modern, agile, digital tools such as modern cloud-based systems that facilitate digital transformation, combined with the necessary implementation services to deliver effective change.
What are the benefits of installing a modern cloud-based business application?
Perhaps the greatest benefit to installing a modern cloud-based system is that it makes costs and progress easily visible and transparent. As such, ministers, stakeholders and leadership teams can instantaneously understand key metrics. When a public sector organisation commits itself to a project, there is a chance that it has to adjust as priorities and focus inevitably change as a result of new government policies and the shifting political climate. A modern cloud-based system provides the visibility required to surface key data that, in turn, enables changes to be analysed and implemented, with the understanding of the potential ramifications of both the cost and resourcing consequences. It also enables public sector organisations to focus on the delivery of outcomes and ensures value for money when it comes to the delivery of services.
Adding to this, if organisations in the public sector have joined up seamless processes across front and back office, this breaks down traditional departmental boundaries. Historically, these boundaries have been quite significant, the systems and processes being used across the two offices may differ and they operate in functional silos. By adopting seamless processes across different functions, cross-departmental working can drive improvements, especially when they are all using the same data. This provides a better service, fewer handoffs and errors, and greater speed.
Additionally, if public sector businesses combine their CRM data about service performance with operational data and financial data all together in one place, then they can better understand the true cost to serve, linking costs and outcomes together. On top of this, organisations require systems that are flexible so they can continue to adapt and deliver new and better services. A modern cloud-based business application should be customer, or citizen-centric and have the ability to deliver these services in an agile manner and respond rapidly to changes and continue to drive process improvements.
Whether your organisation designs a new policy or implements and delivers services, it is impossible to manage all of the available resources in isolation. As such, installing a modern cloud-based system will enable public sector organisations to manage all their activities in one place, from new developments to running and improving current services to managing a crisis.
Software Design and Implementation Services
Software Design and Implementation Services is just one example of how the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) plays a part in assisting the public sector in the UK save money when purchasing goods and services. The collective purchasing power of their customers, plus knowledge of procurement, means they secure the best commercial deals in taxpayers interests.
One of their many commercial agreements to help you buy what you need when you need it is Software Design and Implementation Services (SDIS), Agreement ID RM6193 with a start date of 23/03/2021 and an end date of 22/09/2023. “Find the skills and services you need to deploy new cloud-based back-office systems or upgrade legacy IT systems” is how the CCS website sums up this particular agreement.
SDIS essentially gives specialist support in implementing new cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. We learn more about ERP in the article here from FinancialForce. There are 56 suppliers on this agreement and the numerous benefits include solutions delivered for cloud, on-premise or hybrid systems and flexible contract lengths lasting up to seven years.
Find out more about the SDIS agreement, here.