What do the predictions from government and public sector leaders across the globe mean for local government?
What will public services look like in 2030? It is less than eight years away, but expectations for 2030 are already sky-high.
In our recent report, we asked this question of public sector and government leaders across the globe. In this blog, we’ll explore what these predictions mean for local government in the UK and what local authorities need to do to prepare for the changes ahead.
The leaders interviewed predicted that by 2030, governments will make better use of technologies available to them to meet citizen expectations. For example, most citizens will interact with their government through digital channels such as AI-powered chatbots, which will operate based on citizen-provided data feeds.
If this is the case, then local authorities in the UK have much catching up to do. While there are some trailblazers, many councils are currently not taking full advantage of available technologies to simply resident interactions and improve service outcomes. Too many customer interactions still occur via phone lines, when they could be optimised and conducted through lower cost digital channels. To prepare for 2030, local authorities should focus on enabling digital channels for the majority of their customers, while keeping the option of personal interaction for those customers in greatest need.
The ESG agenda
Another prediction in the report is that digitalisation will help governments achieve ESG goals. With the development of the Internet of Things and Web 3.0, governments can measure their progress towards sustainability at a granular level and plan accordingly. As a result, government investments are much more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Local authorities can make use of these developments by focusing on closer relationships with the private sector and with region-wide city planning and asset development. Measuring progress towards ESG goals and using technology to produce simulations of potential investments can help cities and towns make the right decisions. These can in turn spawn growth industries and service areas which will help contribute to a more sustainable local, and national, economy.
Bridging the skills gap
Currently, one of the issues slowing down digital transformation in the public sector is the skills gap – many local authorities are struggling with recruiting people with digital skills. In 2030, with the advent of low-code and no-code solutions, digital skills gaps will close as non-technical employees will be able to use these solutions to easily automate mundane tasks and customise applications to meet their exact needs. This will increase productivity and efficiency, in turn enabling local authorities to cut costs while improving service outcomes.
What local authorities can do now to prepare is ensure they have some employees with the digital skills to keep up with the developments of low-code/no-code solutions and introduce them to the wider organisation.
In summary, the government of 2030 will be digital-led, enabled by new technologies and better equipped to meet the EGS challenges of tomorrow. However, there is much to do in the eight years until then. Local governments in the UK should focus on making the most out of partnerships and ensure they invest in new technologies to drive better service outcomes.
For reference, the Voices of 2030 report: Digitalising government can be found here