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Innovation Briefing: Innovation in the Public Services

Innovation Briefing: Innovation in the Public Services

LONDON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ever since Margaret Thatcher initiated greater focus on efficient delivery and cost effectiveness 25 years ago, the pressure for innovation in the Public Services has been intense and continuous with hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayer's money now being spent on attempting to deliver better results for the citizens of the UK. Innovaro's latest briefing examines some of the types of innovation taking place today across the public sector and looks at how and why this may be relevant to the private sector.

Innovation in the Public Sector has be defined as 'any application of new ideas, or practices, which improves the outcomes arising from public service organizations ranging from central government activity through to regional bodies, unitary authorities, county councils, and local district bodies'. Although priorities, focus and capabilities for innovation in the public sector can differ significantly from the private sector, citizens / customers often demand equal levels of satisfaction from their banks, shops, utilities, their local governments and national institutions.

Technology Innovation

Technological innovation is one of the highest areas of spend for the public sector and so accordingly, also one of the areas with the highest expectation of impact. In the UK especially, whether it is the Home Office through its National ID-Card Scheme or the National Health Service through its National Programme for IT, government departments are engaged in some of the largest IT implementations ever undertaken - anywhere. Enormous programs such as these are both driving, and taking advantage of, the latest technological developments and breakthroughs in areas such as database management, payment systems and document control. Delivered largely by private sector consultancies such as Accenture, CapGemini and IBM some of these programmes are pushing the boundaries of project management and IT implementation with a corresponding crossover into private sector work.

While innovation here is largely focused upon the process of delivering value through IT, it is also concerned with delivering services in exciting and relevant ways such as through improving the user-interface or user-experience for the citizen, and creating value through better cross department information flows.

A high-profile example of technology-enabling public policy is the Central London Congestion Charge which has gained global recognition for both its ambition and its impact. Although many would agree that political nerve was a major contributor to getting this innovation on the table, others recognise that, without the enabling number-plate recognition technology and the supporting power of the database and payment engines required to process the enormous amounts of data, such a charging policy would still be a desire rather than the reality that it is today. The alignment of ambition, technology and cost efficiency could not have really occurred much earlier than it did. One learning here for the private sector is to have strategies in place for a time when the technology is available to support them.

Innovaro

If you would like the full details of this report and its conclusions, please contact Juliet Bernard at Bluebear on +44-(0)1707-320274 juliet@bluebear.co.uk. Juliet Bernard, Bluebear www.bluebear.co.uk, 60 Bridge Road East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 1JU, Tel: +44-(0)1707-320274, Mob: +44-(0)7778-397902, Skype: +44-(0)20-8123-8490

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