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22 per cent of staff working in local government say certain individuals are holding back tech adoption to preserve the status quo, a new report finds.
This view is more prevalent amongst those in IT procurement, where 35 per cent believe colleagues are standing in the way of technology because it will disrupt what they already have in place.
The study, commissioned by 8x8, provider of the world’s first Communications Cloud, surveyed the views of 1,095 local government staff in the UK.
The study found that only 51 per cent of respondents believe senior management understand the importance of new technology, and just 21 per cent think they invest enough money to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. In the private sector, however, 56 per cent believe there is sufficient investment in new technology.
The survey also found that staff are overwhelmingly in favour of new technology, with 82 per cent saying it’s had a positive impact on their organisation.
It also suggests that tech adoption is being held back by lack of budget, a view that 60 per cent of respondents held. Another key concern is the security risk associated with new technology, especially given the personal data of residents held by these organisations, as reported by 33 per cent.
While certain individuals are resisting change to their organisations, the optimism around new technology demonstrates that the public sector is committed to change. 80 per cent of senior staff say their organisation has a digital strategy in place, but only 65 per cent of all staff are aware that a digital strategy exists - showing more work needs to be done to communicate this widely.
The study comes following the publication of the Government’s Digital Strategy, which aims to make the UK a world leader in serving its citizens online.
Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK managing director of 8x8, said: “It’s encouraging to see optimism about the benefits of new technology amongst staff within local authorities. Yet it’s clear a minority of individuals are still standing in the way of change and, while they are small in number, they are having a huge impact on their organisation. Ultimately, the damage is felt by the residents missing out on improved and streamlined services.
“This isn’t a problem unique to the public sector –separate research revealed that IT managers in the private sector also face significant opposition from senior leaders when it comes to adopting new technologies such as cloud communications. To combat this reluctance, it’s important that key decision makers understand the additional features and increased productivity an excellent cloud-based system can bring.”
Thanks to an ambitious government estate strategy, public sector organisations are under serious pressure to deliver smart working initiatives to drive down overheads.