Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Underpinning Public Sector reform with smart and secure communication

The major spending reviews of the last eight years have put the Public Sector under unprecedented pressure to preserve high levels of citizen service and support, whilst battling reductions in budget and staff resources. This situation is not set to change any time soon, with George Osborne today announcing further spending cuts for this parliament.

Alongside this, the Public Sector has also been challenged with transforming the way it delivers services, moving away from a traditional ‘vending machine’ approach towards one based on insight, intelligence and early intervention.

So, how can public sector workers face these challenges and, as seems to be their common rhetoric, do more with less?

Delivering the new vision for public services

Let’s take a (simplified) example of child suffering from recurrent chest infections, probably linked to damp living conditions. In a traditional, fragmented system it is harder for a GP or health worker to make a meaningful change to the child. The correct medical intervention is to tackle the infection, however this does not resolve the underlying cause.

The new vision for public services calls for a more coherent and integrated approach to service delivery that tries to get to the root of the problem. Integrated networks of organisations and individuals able to work together seamlessly are key to this.

However as many areas are finding, this is easier said than done. What’s clear is that these new place-based models cannot work if the information flows needed to support them are stagnant and fractured.

This, therefore, puts the need for intuitive and easy-to-use communication solutions at the heart of public service delivery, bringing together professionals from across health, education, blue light, local authorities, and increasingly third and private sector organisations. What’s more, information security must be built into this from the start, meaning citizens’ personal data – be that name, contact information, health details, etc – can only be accessed by approved individuals.

As the public sector is increasingly asked to tailor service delivery to meet individual’s unique needs, it will inevitably require secure communication solutions that can support this level of flexibility, while also providing sophisticated information security, and truly delivering cost and efficiency benefits.

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