Public sector IT decision makers are gambling on digital projects in an attempt to reap the rewards of digital – with customer retention (40%), attraction and retention of talent (39%) and workforce productivity (37%) cited as the top three benefits on offer. In an independent study commissioned by Fujitsu, over half (58%) of public sector organisations admitted the success of digital projects is a gamble with a lack of clear strategy and competing priories blamed for this.
More than a third (36%) of the public sector IT decision makers surveyed from the UK, Germany, Sweden and Spain say there is not a clear digital strategy mapped out within their organisation, while 36% state that any digital strategy they do already have in place is unclear and confused. 20% admit that their organisation does not share a common view on digital priorities and almost a third (30%) list this failure to prioritise digital projects among the top-three barriers to digital projects being implemented successfully.
“Digital transformation requires communication and compromise. It also requires structured planning which incorporates the digital needs of every single stakeholder. What this study tells us is that this strategic approach is not always being taken within the public sector”, commented Steven Cox, Vice President and Head of Public Sector, UK & Ireland, Fujitsu. “The results paint a picture of a sector keen to take advantage of the benefits of digitalisation but going about it in an inconsistent way. This is of huge concern. Without a clear and agreed plan, the simple fact is that digital projects run the risk of failure. Something the public sector simply cannot afford.”
When looking closer at the challenges the public sector faces in digitalising successfully, the study reveals a worrying lack of skills which is causing uncertainty over digital decision-making. More than half (58%) of public sector IT decision makers admit it’s difficult to know the right choices to make; while 51% state they don’t have the right skills to successfully deliver digital projects. When asked what hinders their ability to make confident decisions, 30% said a lack of skills to execute digital projects and over a quarter (28%) pointed to a lack of skills to plan and define digitalisation projects.
“The digital skills gap is an ongoing issue and the public sector unfortunately suffers more than most,” added Steven Cox. “To address and move past this, public sector organisations must take advantage of the external expertise around them. IT partners can be an invaluable source of digital insight, particularly when organisations are in the planning stages of digital transformation. I don’t mean they should spend millions in consultation, but seeking guidance and advice from those with experience will prove invaluable in ensuring digital success. Digital transformation will bring many challenges but collaboration is key. If you combine that to create the right strategy – success will surely follow.”