Five tips for serving a Connected Nation

1. Establish a dialogue with connected citizens

Increased use of smartphones and social media represents an opportunity for Government to improve services and evolve policy to generate citizen participation. Engagement strategies should consider how digital channels can be used to gain rapid feedback to refine policy. Engaging citizens early in the development process can also help increase acceptance once policies are implemented. Citizens themselves can even be a source of ideas for the community through crowdsourcing platforms.

 2. Guided by data

As technology advances such as Cloud and the ‘Internet of Things’ become more mainstream, Government agencies will have access to more data. This can provide valuable insight to make services more personalised, focused delivery where they’re most needed, and make operations more efficient. Data, backed up by the right analytical tools, can help Government ‘do more with less’.

3. Get mobile

This report has shown that more than 8 in 10 citizens are using smartphones in the UK. Market analysts, mobilesquared, estimate that penetration will be almost 100% by 2018. Developing mobile strategies for service delivery will soon be a necessity to meet citizen expectations. As many public sector organisations, (from policing to social care and healthcare for example) have already shown equipping frontline staff with the right devices can reduce the administrative burden and keep them engaged, and give them more time to spend on the front line.

4. Connect the back office to enable the frontline

To deliver significant enhancements to the citizen experience, we must place them at the centre of Government operations. This will require public sector agencies to break down siloes – to share information and collaborate more effectively. Only once the systems are joined up (and even joined, securely, to the private sector where relevant) can frontline staff access the information needed to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and even provide citizens with the possibility to ‘self-serve’.

5. Don’t leave the unconnected behind

While the vast majority of citizens want more services to be delivered online, almost 10 million people in the UK remain unconnected (have no internet at home or via mobile). This creates a digital divide that the Government, working with corporate and not-for-profit partners, needs to help close. As shown by our contributor the Tinder Foundation, getting the unconnected connected not only helps them on a personal level with greater employment opportunities, but can also help make Government more efficient and stimulate the economy .