Cultural change essential for digital by default

“Daunting ambition”

Rachel Neaman, deputy director of digital, channel strategy and publishing, and digital leader for the Department of Health, has written an article titled “Digital by default requires a concerted culture change in government”, talking about the government’s ‘digital by default’ agenda and recently published Digital Strategy.

She said departments like the one she works for will have to adopt “digital tools and techniques we now take for granted in our personal lives to make the business of government better.”

She also added that it is essential to monitor social media channels as this can give valuable insight into citizens’ wants and needs and also engages the public.

Her other observations include:

  • The digital strategy is therefore as much about creating cultural change across government as it is about technology or systems.
  • The invest-to-save approach that digital by default will involve for some government departments doesn’t sit comfortably in the midst of shrinking budgets. It will require determined leadership and vision
  • By contrast, going digital to save billions is something the private sector has understood for some time.
  • The work of organisations such as UK online centres, public libraries, community centres and the Post Office in acting as intermediaries for those not online will become even more important

Digital by default is a daunting ambition for any government, and if we are to achieve it all of Whitehall must commit to the challenge,” she concludes.


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