Digital transformation in government departments is not just about technology, but also about culture, skills, and ways of working. The UK government’s digital strategy, which started in 2012, has had a profound impact on the way services are delivered. However, the strategy is not without its challenges, as it requires fundamental changes in culture and mindset.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has been instrumental in driving this transformation, but its role is evolving. It is shifting from being a centralised service to a more distributed model, with digital teams embedded within departments. This shift is necessary to ensure that digital transformation is tailored to the specific needs of each department.

However, this decentralisation raises questions about the role of the GDS and the risk of losing the coherence of the digital transformation. To mitigate this risk, the GDS needs to redefine its role and maintain a strategic oversight of the transformation. It should focus on setting standards, providing guidance, and ensuring that digital transformation aligns with broader government objectives.

In addition, digital transformation in government departments should not be seen as a project with a finite end. It is a continuous process of improvement and adaptation to changing needs and circumstances. Therefore, it requires ongoing investment, commitment, and leadership.

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