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10 reasons why digital transformation is critical within local authorities

04/05/2022

Meritec take a look at the impact that digital transformation can have on Local Authorities and the services they deliver to residents.

Over the last few decades, we've seen major advances in technology and online capabilities.

While some businesses were quick to embrace the digital revolution, others resisted change. Unfortunately, those who were slow to make a digital shift are now suffering as a result.

Digital transformation is fast becoming a necessity rather than a luxury, and this isn't limited to the private sector. Public sector organisations must also evolve if they want to meet customer expectations and keep up with the changing needs of the workforce.

In this article, we're looking at 10 reasons why digital transformation is critical within local authorities.

  1. Improve customer experience

Most consumers are used to doing everything online or via apps – from booking a taxi to paying bills to grocery shopping. They are used to simplicity, speed and convenience. Old, antiquated systems slow your processes down and make life harder for citizens, causing frustration and increasing the risk of complaints. Offering digital channels for communication and the ability to self-serve online wherever possible will create a much better customer experience.

  1. Better serve vulnerable citizens

Allowing your customers to self-serve online makes services more readily available to those with accessibility or mobility issues. It also reduces the number of calls and face to face interactions, which frees up time for employees to support vulnerable customers, those who cannot self-serve, and those with complex or sensitive cases. Resources can be allocated to where they are needed most.

  1. Faster case handling and greater transparency

Automated processes and joined up systems allow for much faster case handling, which is better for your teams and your customers. Real-time updates can be automated, giving citizens/residents greater transparency. Not only does this improve customer experience, but it also reduces the number of complaints, reducing unnecessary pressure on support teams.

  1. Improve reputation

If citizens have a bad experience, they will tell others about it. The same goes for a good experience. Makingyour services more accessible, flexible and efficient will remove a lot of the frustration for citizens and improve their experience. This will have a positive impact on your reputation and boost public opinion and confidence.

  1. Improve employee engagement

Digital systems enable your employees to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, boosting morale and improving engagement. An engaged workforce is happier, healthier and more productive. Digitalisation also makes remote working much easier, allowing you to recruit from a much wider talent pool. Your improved reputation and increased engagement levels will also help you attract and retain better employees.

  1. Increase efficiency

It's much easier to automate and streamline workflows and processes when your systems are digitalised. Digitalisation will also reduce the time spent manually entering data and correcting errors. Your staff will no longer have backlogs of enquiries to respond to or inboxes full of memos and updates. You can significantly increase capacity without taking on additional employees or outsourcing. 

  1. Generate additional revenue

You'll likely see increased take-up of paid services when you shift to digital because the sign-up process becomes easier and more convenient for citizens. Automated systems and online payment portals also allow you to create additional revenue streams without additional workload. For example, our garden waste recycling software solution enables the full end-to-end management of a high-revenue generating service for councils.

  1. Reduce risk

By creating joined-up systems across all departments, fraudulent activity can be spotted more easily and much faster. Digitalisation also removes the need for paper documents which can get lost or misplaced. Furthermore you can remove the risk of human error associated with manual database entry.

  1. Improved data accuracy and visibility

With a joined-up digital system, data accuracy and visibility is greater, giving managers real-time insights and intelligence. This information can influence day-to-day and long-term business decisions on almost anything, from budget allocation and resource planning to service development and marketing strategy. You'll be able to identify opportunities and threats, proactively address possible peaks in demand and create a more agile way of working.

  1. Greater business continuity

If the global pandemic taught us anything, it's that organisations need to be flexible, agile and able to adapt quickly. Digitalisation of your systems, files, and data allows you to resume operations faster should the unexpected occur. Your teams can access the systems and information they need from anywhere, and data backup allows files to be retrieved, recovered and restored easily, ensuring greater business continuity.

Getting started with Digital Transformation

While there's no denying the many benefits of digital transformation, making the switch can feel daunting.

Fortunately, at Meritec, we have a wealth of experience in digital transformation for local authorities. In fact, we specialise in it.

Since 1996, we've worked with over 400 public sector clients across the UK, helping them implement solutions to better serve their citizens and their employees.

Our focus has always been on creating solutions that resolve a problem or maximise an opportunity. As a result, we've built a strong reputation for reliability and quality.

Your digital transformation needn't cause major disruption to your organisation. We design solutions to integrate with your existing systems to make the transition seamless.

Our low code platforms are designed for ease of use, meaning your teams don't need any specialist coding skills or technical knowledge. We provide training on how to use your new systems to their full potential, and our team are always on hand to provide ongoing support.

What's more, our solutions are built to be flexible and agile, evolving as your organisation evolves and making your investment future-proof.

Find out why so many local authorities already trust Meritec with their digital transformation and how we can support you.