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Technology, innovation and the future of shared services

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As the UK government leads the way in digitising public-facing services, we need to make government digital from the inside too. Why? Because we at GSS believe civil servants should have the same levels of technology and service in their job that the public expect in everyday life.

Innovative and intuitive technology is integral to shared services transformation. Andy Helliwell highlighted this in his post. The Shared Services Strategy for Government sets out a 10-year vision for shared services transformation. This includes moving to cloud-based services, converging on technology platforms and meeting user needs.

To make this happen, we need to look to the future and make sure we stay on top of the latest technology innovations. The technology team in GSS are working hard on a range of initiatives that deliver greater value and efficiency, support civil servants better and move us closer to making government digital from the inside. I want to highlight three of these.

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SOP mobile

At GSS, we have placed user needs at the heart of what we do. Civil servants need services that are easy to use. They want mobile services that they can access anywhere, just as they expect from their banks and when they book flights. We are constantly striving to make the service we deliver mobile, intuitive and fit for modern day life.

We are piloting SOP Mobile with one of our main shared services suppliers, Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL). SOP Mobile encompasses a wide range of improvement initiatives all designed to make self-service shared services accessible anywhere on any device - laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet.

We want to make these options available for all civil servants regardless of who is providing their technology and back office services.

We will be telling you more about SOP mobile in the coming weeks.

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Moving to the cloud

The trend in shared services technology is moving towards cloud and automation. Adopting cloud software brings government shared services inline with industry best practice and will, in turn, enable us to introduce robotics, automation and new mobile services.

Cloud software is more mobile ready and gives us ready access to the next generation of artificial intelligence and potentially blockchain.

We are working with departments and innovative cloud based suppliers to pilot cloud based software. We are actively testing out a paperless pilot for the Civil Service Fast Stream and the Home Office is due to start rolling out the next phase of its cloud platform imminently.

Market of three technologies

To ensure we get a cost effective technology solution for government, we want to encourage a mixed-marketplace of three core technology vendors: Oracle, SAP and a third platform.

As departments come together around a choice of three cloud technology platforms, we will deliver greater value and efficiency. This will give departments a choice of technology platforms and in turn create competition and promote innovation.

These are just some of the ways we are looking to the future, making government digital from the inside and working hard to give civil servants the best service possible. Keep an eye out for further updates on our work.

Mark Thompson is Technology Director at Government Shared Services.

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