Technology’s role in the public sector is becoming more important, shows the latest Socitm IT Trends report.
According to the report, while technology has always played an important in the public sector, its importance is now growing. The main reason is that it is starting to be seen, by council managers, as a way to reduce costs and expenses, since they are under pressure to bring operational costs down and to make the best with their tight budgets.
This, according to the report, has had another consequence: the influence of IT managers is growing as well.
“The influence of ICT continues to rise as more services are directly delivered through lower cost ICT-assisted channels. Technology is also helping reduce accommodation costs as the workforce becomes more mobile,” said Glyn Evans, Socitm President.
“However, with greater dependence on ICT, organizations must ensure processes and procedures are kept up to date, and greater attention is paid to accuracy, provenance and security of information,” he added.
The report shows that spending on contract services will increase and that organizations are making their employees more mobile, allowing them to work from home and to use their own devices at work.
The top five technologies to be adopted by organizations are mobile computing and telecommuting, virtualization, GIS, e-forms, and content management. With the top efficiency programs being self-service, shared services, remote working, document management, and virtualization.
The report also shows that the major shift has been in remote working. While three years ago the idea of allowing employees to use their home equipment to work was frowned upon, now over 90% of respondents have declared themselves happy to allow their workforce to use their home PCs to remote access their office computers.
Hosted web services are also becoming a major concern for IT managers, as well as network and data security. Appliances, such as RHUB 6-in-1 TurboMeeting (named as the Product of Year by Government Computer News recently) are often the best alternative to web hosted solutions, since appliances are cheaper and offer a higher level of security than the hosted ones.