The UK government’s Roadmap to digital and data involves ambitions to transform digital public services, deliver world-class digital technology and systems, and attract digital talent
The new roadmap will outline a common cross-government vision for 2025 and a set of specific actions, written collaboratively by the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) and central government departments across the UK.
As set out in a report by the National Audit Office in 2021, by transforming national work to become more digital, the UK can enable the civil service to work smarter and faster and deliver on national ambitions for widespread digital transformation.
Digital refers to a technology-enabled way of working that uses modern tools, techniques and capabilities. Whilst Data, refers to digital information about people, things and systems, as set out in the National Data Strategy.
Former attempts at digital transformation in government have had mixed success – where earlier strategies have lacked specificity, cross-government endorsement, clear lines of accountability and business ownership – former flagship programmes have slowly shut down and failed to deliver results.
So, the creation of the CDDO has marked a new era of digital transformation in government, developed with the government’s most senior leaders alongside digital experts from across and beyond government.
This roadmap is designed to be different
This roadmap, made for central government departments, does not directly apply to local government or the devolved administrations, yet the CDDO and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are collaborating with local government to help create these plans by supporting the reform of local services.
CDDO is also to work with the devolved administrations to ensure there is close alignment between the government roadmap and their existing plans – with a set of ambitious priorities, including the plan to decarbonise the UK economy to net-zero by 2050, to Levelling Up.
Overall, the programme aims to spread opportunities more equally across the UK, delivered quickly and more effectively through wider use of digital and data.
Improving digital and data will enable efficient governance
Tackling the pressures people are facing with the cost of living – such as COVID-19 recovery and Build Back Better, the government aims to deliver savings for the taxpayer, and digital and data are central to building this more efficient government.
In the public and private sectors, organisations have become more productive after embracing digital transformation, where they operate running more efficiently at a lower cost, and in the digital services and modern technology.
Digital and data services can ensure efficient flows of data to drive these intelligent digital services and better investment decisions, whilst digital ways of working and highly skilled workforces allow smaller teams to work smarter and faster.
By spreading these opportunities across the UK by Levelling Up, the UK can shift to more digitally-enabled ways of working, potentially enabling the Civil Service to work across locations and recruit more equally from across the UK, rather than concentrating jobs in London and the South East.
The UK as a world leader in digital government
Overall, a smarter and more efficient digital government can help grow Britain’s digital economy and attract the best and brightest talent from across the world and great, accessible, digital services will enable everyone across the UK to access the information and services they need – such as starting a business.
Digital governments offer more efficient digital services that help to create lower carbon footprints – with initiatives such as reducing the reliance on face-to-face services and cutting the use of paper across government. Additionally, changes in approaches to building and buying technology can also reduce waste, increase sustainability and guide responses to climate change.
Finally, this digital and data strategy can improve cyber resilience for the security and prosperity of the UK, as government organisations are a routine target for cyber attacks.