Year in review: The top digital government stories of 2017

The last year has been an eventful one for digital government for a number of reasons, not least the long-awaited launch of the Government’s Digital Strategy earlier this year.

That was, unsurprisingly, the top story from the last year 12 months, but what else made Digital by Default’s list of top stories? Read on to find out more.


Government finally publishes its Digital Transformation Strategy

In February, the Cabinet Office published its long-awaited Government Transformation Strategy, setting out how the government will harness digital technologies, skills and tools to transform public services and put citizens first.

Central to this commitment was identity assurance – establishing that the user is who they say they are via GOV.UK Verify. In fact, the Government Digital Service said it plans to have 25 million Verify users by the end of 2020.


Microsoft to train 30,000 public servants in a range of digital skills

Another big story from earlier in the year was Microsoft’s announcement that it had launched a programme to teach digital skills to public servants across the UK to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies.

This was followed later in the year by the Government’s launch of The Digital Skills Partnership and the commitment of more spend on digital skills in schools as part of the budget.


New EU data protection regulations are on the way; are you ready?

A major talking point throughout 2017 was GDPR – and what needs to be done ahead of the May 2018 deadline. This guest post got the ball rolling early in the year.


Councils receive LGA funding for digital social care projects

Social care delivery and funding dominated the headlines this year – and will no doubt again in 2018. This story about a number of councils being awarded funding for projects which use digital technology to transform and improve social care was a popular one.


Land Registry and Ordnance Survey in partnership deal

Another big story in July was the signing of a new strategic partnership between HM Land Registry (HMLR) and Ordnance Survey (OS). The pilot partnership sees HMLR join OS at its Geovation Hub to encourage and support innovation and property technology businesses.


Top 10 strategic technologies for Government

A list of strategic technologies that Gartner recommends government organisations should have a plan for at the moment is the number one story on Digital by Default this year.


Q&A: Overcoming the challenges presented by digital transformation

Digital transformation was another huge topic throughout 2017. This Q&A that followed a webinar on the topic hit the spot with readers and continues to be a popular read.


Digital transformation in housing gathers pace

Many of Digital by Default’s most popular articles this year have been the guest posts – including this one on how GIS is helping to create more efficient processes, cut costs and improve tenant services – one of the hot topics for councils everywhere.


Ten reasons why public sector IT projects fail (and why transformation planning is a necessity)

Another popular guest post was this one about the reasons for IT project failure – which tied in with the constant pressures councils found themselves under to create more, with less, in shorter than ever timescales.


Artificial intelligence and the transformation of public services

The role of artificial intelligence in government was one topic that really gathered momentum as the year went on. This article about how AI may be used by the public sector to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and even deliver new services to groups currently unserved was therefore unsurprisingly popular.

Government investment in AI was also a talking point, making this article about the UK’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper a popular one.


Government’s Industrial Strategy wedded to AI and tech

And finally, big digital news from the Government in 2017 was rounded off by the announcement of the new Industrial Strategy which set out a long-term vision for how Britain can embrace technological change and boost the earning power of people across the UK.

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