Planning for the digital age

Organisations throughout the public sector are facing increasing pressures.

They’re experiencing a growing demand for public services – higher than they’ve ever seen before – coupled with constant budget restrictions and central initiatives to digitise services.

Technological advances are seen as the number one global trend to transform business, according to a report from PWC that saw 81% of CEOs surveyed globally (and 82% in the UK). There’s no reason why public sector organisations can’t prioritise new technology just as highly. Digital transformation has an important role to play in increasing productivity and meeting increased demands on public services

In order for local governments to start escaping from deficits, we must work to become fit for the future. Practical plans of action need to focus on redesigning the public sector to optimise service delivery by leveraging new and sophisticated technology. This view is emphasised by Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government, who said: “We’re changing because the world is changing and we’ve got to change with it.”

Citizens now expect their local and national authorities to provide accessible, portable, flexible and customised products and services. For them movement between the virtual and physical world needs to be seamless, meaning that the public sector needs to be more mindful than ever when designing and developing new ways to engage with the public. UK local authorities need to use technology as a tool to drive change in the way they understand people and places, public interactions and how to engage with their community and foster these elements to enable them to provide better public service.

As the public sector seeks cuts, printing is one area that comes under regular scrutiny. Printing can sometimes be wrongly labelled as a twilight technology, yet Gartner estimates that up to 3% of an organisation’s total revenue is spent on print alone. Although that doesn’t sound like much every penny spent is one that hasn’t been saved, and explains how this can add up to become thousands of pounds each year. That’s why it’s so important for printing to be a background, hands off operation - with little input from valuable staff to keep it running faultlessly.

Alongside the continuing relevance of printing, new technologies and working practices such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and cloud are changing the broader document landscape within the public sector. With employees working across multiple locations the workflow, life and trail of a document are more mobile than ever.

KYOCERA Mobile Print offers on the go printing and scanning from both iOS and Android devices. Available free of charge, it allows users to automatically connect to any device in the network. Another application developed by KYOCERA is EveryonePrint, a very convenient software solution that solves the problem of printing from a mobile device quickly and easily and can be used on all HyPAS enabled KYOCERA devices.

One way to better manage costs and increase efficiency across the whole organisation when it comes to document management is to deploy a Managed Document Service (MDS) – which is a packaged solution that creates a controlled print, copy and document environment. MDS usually combine hardware, software, servicing and elements of strategic consultancy.

Security is an increasing concern for the public sector, and a properly deployed MDS will strengthen an organisation’s ability to control risk. As well as helping to avoid losing valuable data and preventing unauthorised access, it can also ensure confidential documents don’t end up in the wrong hands, limit device access to particular users and departments and clearly identify key users.

Another emerging area, which presents both opportunity and challenge for the public sector, is cloud. KYOCERA Cloud Print is an enterprise wide print management system that is hosted in the cloud and helps to create a controlled print, copy and document environment. If properly deployed, this will save time and money, but also strengthen an organisation’s ability to control risk. As well as helping to avoid losing valuable data and preventing unauthorised access, it can also ensure confidential documents don’t end up in the wrong hands, limit device access to particular users and departments and clearly identify key users.

A managed cloud print service (MCPS) uses a cloud-based print network to manage the printing needs across the entire organisation. For local authorities spanning several locations, this is ideal and enables complete scalability. It’s flexible, it’s responsive, and it cuts costs while reducing the administrative burden of managing a printing network spanning tens, hundreds or even thousands of printers. It also helps to reduce paper, ink and energy consumption, saving money as well as the planet.

As the digital age becomes progressively prevalent, the concept of e-government is becoming reality and the public sector is taking its lead from commercial organisations when it comes to understanding how to better serve the public. Calls to address technological change mean that local governments need to take this opportunity to optimise costs and ensure that services and operations are increasingly sustainable and adaptable towards evolving needs.

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