Digital transformation in the public sector is not a choice but a necessity. Government services must be ‘digital by default’ to meet the rising expectations of citizens and to harness the potential cost savings. The move towards digitalisation is a global trend, with countries like Estonia leading the way with their e-residency programme.

The UK is also making strides in this direction, with the Government Digital Service (GDS) playing a crucial role. The GDS was created to centralise and digitise government services, making them more efficient and user-friendly. Despite initial resistance, the GDS has already delivered notable successes such as the GOV.UK website, which consolidated hundreds of government websites into one accessible platform.

The potential savings from digitalisation are significant. The National Audit Office estimates that moving services online could save between £1.7 and £1.8 billion a year. However, digitalisation is not without challenges. The public sector must overcome issues such as digital exclusion and data security.

The digitalisation of government services is a complex task that requires strong leadership, a clear vision, and a willingness to take risks. It is a journey that will take time, but the potential rewards are immense. The ‘digital by default’ approach is not just about cost savings, but also about delivering better services for citizens.

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