What we learned from last year’s Smarter State
With techUK’s Building the Smarter State conference coming up on 18th September, we’ve taken a look at our highlights from last year’s event.
The Building the Smarter State conference focuses on showcasing how technology is shaping the public sector’s services, and excitingly the main twin themes for this year’s event have been outlined as People & Place. This means that discussions will follow how technology and processes are aligned, and importantly how users are adapting to this new emerging tech – topics we are very interested in exploring!
With that in mind, we’ve looked back at last year and pulled out some of the key headlines.
A better understanding between suppliers and government
A key point brought up at 2018’s event was that the government must work more closely, and much better, with suppliers of technology. This theme ran through all the talks and showed that the public sector was aware what needs to be done to deliver much better services to citizens. And on top of that, making a healthier playing field for procurement.
Now we know this is still very much an ongoing discussion, so we’re expecting a lot more talk about how this can be done at Smarter State 2019 – with some really great insights from this year’s speakers.
The UK as a Digital Leader
Many of the talks over the day were used to promote the use of new and exciting tech within government, with an emphasis on the UK government’s vision of becoming not just a digital leader but THE digital leader. Any certain or fixed plan was unclear at last years event but, with the introduction of innovation frameworks from CCS and Dynamic Purchasing Systems such as Spark, we’re seeing an innovative approach more and more across the public sector. Which is very exciting!
Jacky Wright of HMRC even gave some useful examples from her department and explained how they were focusing on emerging tech such as AI and machine learning. Which is now becoming common practice across many departments.
It’s not just about the tech
Another great takeaway from the event was that digital transformation shouldn’t only be about the tech! At the heart of it all, the public sector’s plans should be centred around the service delivery which is supported by tech.
Nicola Graham, Head of IT at Aberdeenshire Council, went as far as saying that the public sector shouldn’t design services with the users in mind, they should design services with them in the room. A statement that is very much still appropriate now!
As every year, we had a great time at Building the Smarter State 2018. With one of the main points we came away with being the importance of improving dialogue and understanding between government and tech suppliers (and most importantly SMEs). And, with attendees from the public and private sectors coming together at this year’s event, we’re looking forward to seeing how government processes are helping digital transformation and supporting the supplier’s involvement in doing so.
We’re excited to be diving more into how public services are being shaped by emerging technology at this year’s Building the Smarter State 2019, which takes place on 18th September 2019 at Count Hall, London. We’ll see you there!