Socitm 2015 saw the gathering of leading figures in local government and IT, discussing the need for a revolutionary approach to public sector digital transformation. Keynote speaker, Catherine Howe, called for a “critical mass of revolutionaries” to drive change and innovation. She emphasised the importance of fostering a culture of experimentation and risk-taking, especially in the face of financial constraints and bureaucratic hurdles.

The conference highlighted the necessity for local government to be more agile and responsive to citizens’ needs, with digital technology playing a crucial role. Martin Ferguson, Socitm’s Director of Policy and Research, underscored the need for a shift from old operating models to a more customer-centric approach.

The event also showcased successful digital projects across the UK, demonstrating the potential benefits of digital transformation. These include improved service delivery, cost savings, and greater citizen engagement. However, the challenge lies in scaling these successes across the public sector, requiring a collective effort and a shared vision.

In a panel discussion, participants echoed the need for strong leadership and collaboration among all stakeholders. They agreed that digital transformation is not just about technology, but also about changing the way public services are designed and delivered. They also stressed the importance of digital inclusion, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or ability, can benefit from digital services.

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