Research projects 310% growth in public self-services by 2018

The availability of public sector services through digital self-service systems is expected to grow by 310% and save an average of £8.74 million by 2018, according to research by GOSS Interactive.

A survey of 355 senior managers from over 250 public sector bodies shows that two-thirds expect to have 50% or more of their services delivered by online self-service by 2018, with just 10% of respondents indicating that they are already at this target.

The survey found that organisations are set to save on average nearly £1.5 million in the next year from self-service, with over 10% anticipating savings over £3 million.

Rubbish collections, recycling, council tax, planning and housing are all set to be major beneficiaries of digital self-services, according to the research.

Rob McCarthy, chief executive of GOSS Interactive, said:  The next 12 months will be a critical time, with many organisations planning to significantly increase self-service to address budget deficits and improve service delivery.

“To this end, public sector organisations are working hard to deliver an integrated end-to-end approach to digital in general and self-service in particular.

Wolverhampton City Council is one of the bodies set to save over £1 million within the next year.

Paul O’Rourke, Performance Manager, Wolverhampton City Council, said: “By making tip permits available through online self-service, we’ve achieved over 180 monthly requests, removed administration tasks, improved recycling centre management and delivered a 24/7 service with SMS reminders for customers. We achieved return on investment in less than two months.”

Colchester Borough Council has improved online engagement ahead of introducing wider digital services Mandy Jones, customer demand and research manager commented: “We have already achieved a 56% improvement in online engagement in the first few months after launching a new top task website and cutting 400 pages down to just over 1000. 

“It has laid the groundwork for us to introduce wider digital self-service and has helped us realise £300k of savings last year. We’re on budget for £400k savings this year.”

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