From colleges to healthcare and housing to refuse collection, the public sector plays an increasingly important role in all of our lives. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, employment in the sector has actually grown year on year, peaking at over 5.7 million employees in December 2021. But in one critical area, talent remains in short supply.
A lack of skilled IT staff threatens to disrupt crucial efforts to make public services more efficient and cost effective at a time when the sector is under growing pressure to do more with less.
The road to modernisation
The COVID-19 crisis forced the public sector to rapidly adapt and proved just what could be achieved when it is really needed. Despite what would have previously been considered possible, we saw new or enhanced digital services being delivered in a matter of weeks/months.
Cloud-based digital technologies hold the key to offering the public higher quality and more streamlined services. They allow us to cut unnecessary costs and improve staff productivity. Use cases include:
- Online collaboration tools to support hybrid working
- Adaptive network detection and response to mitigate cyber threats to critical data and systems
- IoT (Internet of Things) technologies for remote patient monitoring and smarter healthcare
- Mobile applications to deliver more personalised healthcare and reduce COVID backlogs
- Virtual reality systems to improve student engagement and learning outcomes
These digital transformation efforts have been lent a new urgency by current economic headwinds, and the need to improve efficiencies following a significant increase in government spending during the pandemic. Focusing innovation on the areas that really matter could benefit every member of society, without breaking the bank.
The fight for skills
Although the technology solutions certainly exist to make this a reality, the skills may not. Tech skills shortages are known to impede the progress of digital transformation across the globe. Warnings have been issued in years past that the trend could be harming public sector IT modernisation. One report from the Cloud Industry Forum claimed that 40% of UK public sector organisations lack the requisite digital skills, and that 41% have hit a skills roadblock when attempting to migrate to a cloud solution.
With vacancies for UK tech jobs surging 191% year on year, public bodies may struggle to compete with their private sector counterparts in an increasingly tight employment market. In fact, separate data reveals that two thirds (65%) of government workers feel they don’t have the right digital skills. For the Government these skills challenges may derail its plans to deliver better public services, cut costs and reskill civil servants.
Making a difference
When shortages are already an issue, any lengthy or unplanned absences can make a huge difference to public sector IT functions — not just for digital transformation, but also day to day operations. This is where Daisy can add value, by providing remote tech support and in person workforce assistance to help plug gaps whatever your circumstances and requirements.
Over the years, Daisy has become a trusted resource to help optimise tech projects across the public sector: from colleges and universities to NHS Trusts, government departments and local authorities. We provide two unique offerings to address clients’ skills shortages:
Remote Technical Advice is here to help organisations bolster their internal operational teams. This adds an extra layer of expert technical support to handle day to day service administration and configuration tasks. Available from 3-30 hours per month, the service provides access to highly experienced and accredited engineers to tackle service performance, configuration, integration and other issues.
Rapid IT Workforce delivers assistance for customers that have an in-house skills gap, or need extra support during busy periods. It could be cover for annual or long term sick leave, or while recruiting for a new starter. Daisy offers the same high quality engineers to assist with everything from ERP and CRM systems to servers, databases, cloud and networks. We can help with as little as 24 hours’ notice. Whatever you need and whenever you need it, we’ve got you covered.