The Institute of Directors (IoD) has said the government’s attempts at a technological drive have lost momentum.
In its ‘Digital government and the productivity puzzle’ report, the IoD said that “in a world that is moving at such pace, an approach that aims to build technology inside government is always going to face a challenge to keep up and be relevant”.
The IoD said a survey of its members revealed that the majority thought the best way for the government to improve its digital offering would be to create an environment where new technologies and processes could be adopted in order to deliver better services.
Government procurement will be crucial to achieve this, said the IoD. The organisation added that simplifying this process, as well as making it more accessible to SMEs are two key avenues for improvement.
Pointing to the importance of digital innovation, the IoD said that historically, gains in productivity have gone “hand-in-hand with technological advancement”. However, in recent years, the UK has struggled to be able to convert digital technology developments into higher productivity levels.
Most IoD members surveyed said the government was “poorly equipped to take advantage of technological advances and automation”. This was highlighted by the fact most respondents said online payments, banking and data entry services provided by the private sector were better than those offered by the government.
The report suggested that an effective partnership with the private sector could result in public sector productivity gains, as innovative processes would enable the government to make improvements in efficiency.
According to the IoD, upgrading the government’s digital services would make regulatory compliance and access to support a great deal easier for businesses.