Scotland’s public administrations should focus on common, shared technology platforms, according to the new digital strategy, published on 22 March. The government says it wants to develop “shared infrastructure, services and standards in collaboration with our public sector partners, to reduce costs and enable resources to be focused on front-line services.”
The Digital Strategy for Scotland should result in a digital transformation of Scotland’s public services, including reforming and restructuring government operations. “Digital transformation is about far more than merely providing public services on line”, the strategy says. “These services must be provided in ways that makes sense to our users, rather than the ways in which we have chosen to organise ourselves.”
The first types of government services to be overhauled include those where citizens apply for services, and make or receive payments. These should be based on shared technology platforms.
In the strategy, the government states that it needs to:
- Deploy common technologies that can be built and procured once rather than multiple times;
- Create common digital platforms for services that will encourage Scottish public and voluntary sector organisations to innovate in the delivery of public services;
- Make better use of cloud-based solutions as a source of both cost reduction and service innovation; and
- Provide transparent information on the costs and performance of public services and respond quickly to feedback from the users of our services.
The government hopes the strategy will make it an international pioneer of citizen-led service design. The strategy also stresses the importance of making government data available as public data, “as a source of innovation and efficiency”.