What will 2017 bring for digital public services? (Guest Post)

We’re letting technology into every aspect of our lives – but with this will come only greater risk – as the team at Agilisys explains

2016 saw technology becoming cheaper, easier to use and more multi-faceted than ever before. We have developed into sophisticated users of all things digital. Last year we welcomed new technological advances into our homes more readily than new people.

This unrelenting digital shift will see an even greater expectation of public sector services. Digitally advanced consumers are also public sector citizens that expect exactly same the service and benefits from their councils and government as they do their new Amazon echo. But the flexibility and freedom that this technological advancement provides also exposes us to cybersecurity risks and threats.

Paradoxically, we’re seeing more people taking time out from online activities. Many have started the New Year with a ‘digital detox’; going off grid, suspending their digital profile or logging off their digital life. It’s no longer a case of people who can’t get online, it’s now more about those who don’t want to be online. A big challenge for 2017 will be how you keep those who are already online engaged, stimulated and interested.

Reflecting on all this and more we asked some of our employees, who are at the forefront of delivering digital transformation, for their digital predictions for 2017.

Simon Merrick, Agilisys Transformation

2016 was a big year for cyber-security breaches and with predicted growth of global internet traffic, 2017 will continue to shock and expose. The ‘on-demand’ culture takes a big step into our homes as players like Google and Amazon integrate the physical with the digital. Services are no longer limited to the keyboard or smartphone. Drones will reach the headlines more often in 2017 as they clash and crash with our current transport infrastructure. Our privacy and security standards will need to adjust to the shifting digital space.

Tricia Favé, Agilisys IT Services

The demand for automated digital technology will continue to grow this year as the public’s demands for mobile online services increase. They will expect more interactive platforms that offer immediate responses, just like the consumer products and apps that are already integrated into their lives.  In response, security will need to become tighter as the growth in digital services will also see the rise in hacking scandals and denial-of-service attacks.

Tim Pitts, Agilisys Digital

2017 is the year that public sector organisations will move beyond merely using digital technology to automate services.  By forming a digital relationship they will enable their citizens to become more self-sufficient, pivoting away from the traditional parental relationship councils have previously held with heavy users of council services.

Adham Jaleel, Agilisys Transformation

2017 is the year that smart glasses, like Google Glass, will really take off. By the end of last year Snap Inc. (formerly known as Snapchat) had created a lot of buzz around its ‘Snapchat Spectacles’, lightweight sunglasses that capture video. Popular advancements like this will lead to increased competition in the market, which will ultimately make peripherals like these affordable for companies, and maybe even public sector organisations, to use with their customers.

The public sector journey to digital is well underway. The key to a successful 2017 will be recognising the emerging technological trends and the risks that come with them and implementing appropriate delivery and execution to mitigate that risk. Factors such as digital leadership, skills, culture and infrastructure are all key ingredients to a successful transition to digital. If you’re planning your 2017 digital journey and looking for a transformation partner contact us to find out more.

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