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Digital government and the productivity puzzle

03 Jan 2018

digital reporting

Tackling the UK’s “productivity puzzle” has become clear focus for the Government in the last year – and rightly so. In a new report, the IoD, supported by Atos, makes the case that upgrading the Government’s technical expertise and digital services should be an important strand of the strategy.

Digital government and the productivity puzzle

Since the 2008 financial crisis the UK’s productivity growth has been anaemic. Historically, productivity gains have come hand-in-hand with technological gains, but in recent years the UK has struggled to convert the recent rapid growth in digital technologies into higher rates of productivity.

Effective partnership with the private sector could lead to productivity gains in the public sector, as innovative processes enable Government to make efficiency gains. Meanwhile, upgrading the Government’s digital services would make regulatory compliance and access to support much easier for businesses.

The Government need not itself be an innovator or developer. It must however create an environment conducive to the development of new technologies and processes which can then be adopted to deliver better services. In this, Government procurement will be crucial. Simplifying this process and making it more accessible to SMEs are two key avenues for improvement.

Drawing on survey evidence and case studies, this report produces a set of principles for strengthening the partnership between public and private sectors in the delivery of digital services.