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Myths of Working in the Public Sector

Shayda James

by Shayda James

Myths of Working in the Public Sector

Public sector bodies have a notoriously bad reputation for being behind the times, inefficient and wrapped up in red tape. And when they relied on paper systems to make things happen, that was largely true. However, digital transformation is not only starting to make the public sector more efficient, it’s turning it into one of the most innovative and exciting places to work.

We are seeing a surge in Digital, Data and Technology opportunities in the public sector, particularly for those skilled in implementing digital transformation. Here are five ways in which digital technology is changing the public sector for the better, and why it’s fast becoming a very attractive place to work:

Digital Tools Solving the Volume Problem

One of the reasons that the public sector has struggled with its administration is not just because of all the systems and procedures it needs to navigate for good governance, but also because of the sheer volumes that it has to process. This is where digital transformation is making a significant impact in increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs for the public sector. But to achieve these objectives they need IT professionals who can design, implement and manage the digital tools and systems according to what a particular public sector division needs.  And for IT professionals it presents an opportunity to be at the forefront of digital innovation, applying your knowledge and expertise to create technology solutions that will have a direct impact on public services, making them more efficient. In the past, when businesses wanted to attract new talent to their team, all they needed to do was post a job advert and wait for a stream of candidates to pour in. The employers held the power in talent acquisition.

Digital Technology Creating a Better User Experience

A distinct advantage of digital technology is that it enables users to be able to transact online and avoid lengthy queues, moving citizens to a self-service approach. Once a system is in place, digital tools establish data trails which will make it easier to perform updates, make changes to a user’s account, log faults, track maintenance and generally be able to offer a significantly better user experience in the process. Using digital tools to introduce customer self-service channels will reduce the number of administrative staff needed and help improve the customer experience. This is creating opportunities for IT professionals who have expertise in the customer engagement sector. By adding their input when a digital transformation is being implemented it can help make the systems more user-friendly.

Introduction of Emerging Digital Technologies

The public sector is a prime candidate for digital innovation. They process vast volumes of data, have detailed processes, and have a legacy of outdated systems that have proven to be very inefficient. With the pressure on for the public sector to deliver better services more efficiently while managing ever decreasing budgets, digital technology is offering an attractive solution, and decision-makers in the public sector are well aware of this. There are few sectors in the marketplace that can currently offer a workplace so ripe with opportunity for innovation and creative solutions. Being involved in the implementation of digital technologies from the start provides a sound foundation for a positive and progressive career path in IT. 

Management of Digital Technologies in the Public Sector

Digital Technology is at the heart of almost every industry and the way the public interfaces on a daily basis. Collaboration is viewed as the new management style, recognizing different areas of expertise and having the ability to optimise these various skills. Project managers will need to have some level of understanding of IT and the digital technologies available in order to be able to oversee the implementation of projects. In other words, leaders who have a background in IT, coupled with good project management and leadership skills, will be considered top candidates for management positions. 

Digital Technology Connecting Industry Sectors

Additionally, IT professionals may find themselves gaining exposure to a number of different industry sectors. For example: the introduction of smart motorways is aimed at making highways safer and less congested. Similar digital technologies are being introduced in other infrastructure industries. Healthcare too is using databases and digital technology to better manage public hospitals and medical services, such as The Genomics Medicine Service. IT is no longer an industry that operates purely in the business sector, and there is a wealth of opportunity for those that have IT expertise and interests in other sectors. 

In terms of career development, the public sector may well offer some of the best career prospects, not only for working with emerging digital technologies, but also in terms of developing your skills and developing others whilst making a positive difference to society. 

Far from being the stuffy old school working environment, the public sector is quickly becoming one of the most innovative and exciting working environments for IT professionals. There is a wealth of opportunity for forward thinking individuals who are willing to step up to the challenge and apply their expertise to creating solutions that will help make the public sector more efficient.  Will you be one of the people driving change in the public sector? 

About Inspire People

Inspire People is a boutique IT recruiter specialising in Digital Transformation, Platforms and DevOps.

We work in partnership with a diverse range of employers who utilise technology to make a positive impact on society; from managed service providers and private/ public sector end users, finding the fit between the employer and the individual.

If you would like to discuss your next career move or are looking to attract the right talent, speak with one of the Inspire People team on +44(0)20 7871 8550 or email hello@inspirepeople.net

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