Cadence Innova offer Digital Transformation

Public sector organisations face a range of problems, from significant environmental changes to issues emerging from the existing structures which are increasingly not fit for the future. The uncertain national and international political climate places various new demands on the sector. The impact of Brexit is far-reaching, with responsibilities returning from the EU, decisions to be made on whether to create substitutes in the place of EU funds, and potentially dramatic changes to the migrant workforce,1 the latter posing substantial challenges to the health and social care workforce.2 Across the board there are serious financial limitations.

Challenges emerge from the growing gap between public sector services and processes, and the expectations of users, and this is only set to widen for future service users. Difficulties arise too from the public sector’s inherent complexity, as a very large entity with extremely challenging and diverse stakeholder needs, legacy systems, and a risk-averse nature.

Cadence Innova offers solutions to Public Sector challenges.

An innovation-orientated consultancy, Cadence emerged in 2007 as three consultants who had worked in the public sector, digital, and business transformation, joined forces. Since then Cadence Innova has grown to include 40 in house and around 70 associates operating across the South-East and South-West of England – with ambitions for future growth nationally- but has remained nimble and creative, delivering positive transformational change, with services including strategic advisory through to implementation of digital, commercial and technology programmes.3

The costs of digital change can present a challenge in an environment of tight government budgets, but the returns on these investments paint a different picture.

Cadence Innova is an enabling service that helps public sector bodies move through the challenges of bureaucracy with a fearless attitude to challenge, an ability to unpick pain-points, and positive messages that are used to get buy-in from decision makers.

Cadence supports clients to use technology efficiently whilst keeping an eye on their economic objectives, enabling wise decision-making about where to place investment.

In a context of ever-tightening budgets, Cadence takes an approach to innovation which goes beyond the creation of new products and services. They help clients to radically rethink their methods and practice and the way they utilise resources and engage with their teams, to bring about substantial and creative change.

In the past two years Cadence have brought digital concepts and methodologies into UK policy and research departments, innovatively marrying two disconnected worlds, an example of the tailored innovation they practice.

Digital transformation cannot happen through an off-the-shelf solution

Digital transformation will not look the same for all clients, and organisations do not always need software customised to their needs.

As budget restrictions on the public sector remain, it is therefore essential to look at the needs of the customer and to establish what software can be bought to meet those needs, customising only when it is business critical. It is true of all digital transformation projects that the transformation does not end when software is delivered, but is a continual process, and is not just about technology. It is foremost a cultural change, which takes time.

In the short term, you can demonstrate digital services being built and therefore sow the seeds.

Digital is not an end-product, but an enabling technology

“It is the business objectives and customer needs that should guide digital transformation and how digital tools are utilised. Appreciating this landscape drives how solutions are structured, delivered and supported with technology”, says Gita Singhal Willis, one of Cadence’s three founding partners.

Within the public services, changes often also have roots in new policy goals needing supporting services, or services needing redesign to meet the user needs. Digital transformation is about making life simpler for service users, and Cadence achieves this by integrating digital technology into all areas of a business.

Participate in designing change, rather than being submitted to it

This must occur within a context of cultural change, and staff engagement. Staff hold invaluable knowledge about day to day activities, and Cadence believe they are important protagonists of transformation; by participating in designing change, rather than being submitted to it, staff contribute to accelerating business success. IT change affects both technical and non-technical staff, and it is important to engage the latter group by involving them in the design process and drawing on their valuable insights.

Digital transformation implies a cultural change. It requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure or set-backs, or insights that end users are providing. Cadence helps executives to understand and demonstrate how valuable this is for the business, and that their participation is integral to the transformation process. The result is teams encouraged to trust the process.

Understanding how technology-based savings are made

Cloud technology is an example of an investment area that offers significant savings, with research showing on average 40% savings in Total Cost of Ownership; robotics and AI are already transforming sectors such as financial services. Cadence are increasingly offering cloud services and looking at how AI can benefit public services.

However, to realise the benefits of this technology, beyond simply implementing it,  C-level administrators will need to understand how these savings are made, and the capability needed in the background to support all these new services and enable their staff.

Cadence understand the holistic approach needed for effective digital transformation. This is why they bring together diverse teams, combining business analysts, business strategists, subject matters experts and user-centred consultancy skills.

When starting a digital transformation project in a complex public sector environment such as a local authority or central government department, you need to remember the following:

  • Tailor innovation to the specific needs of the client.
  • Utilise positive messages to gain buy-in from executives and engage all staff members, drawing on their unique knowledge.
  • Do not simply introduce new technology. Instead, ensure understanding and capabilities are in place to realise successful implementation and benefits.
  • Do remember that digital transformation is part of a culture change that does not have an end point.

Cadence has a vision of a public sector that has a real chance to be a force for good, demonstrating standards and setting the pace, whilst bringing value to the tax payers. It can deliver better for less only through a commitment to continual innovation.

Public Sector Solutions

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Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

Innovative IT solutions are no longer a novelty, but expected. They are now seen as a potential solution to all problems and have become ubiquitous in both the public and private sectors. However, for the public sector, finding the right solution entails a number of challenges. Organisations are confronted with citizen’s rising expectations to deliver enhanced, comprehensive services. Emerging threats such as cyber crime have to be countered by greater collaboration within and across public safety and security departments. Moreover, organisations must achieve these objectives while increasing efficiency and balancing budgets.  In Public Sector Solutions, the latest programme in our Digitalisation of the Public Sector series, we look at how digitalisation is opening up new horizons for the public sector by offering new platforms for interacting with citizens, streamlined and integrated services, and IT for analytics in research.

In this programme, we hear from a range of companies who are working with the public sector to provide IT solutions. DPS Software provide legal IT solutions and in-house department software to Legal Professionals, including public sector legal departments. Thumbtel make employee communication more straightforward with their easy to use apps, another number and Hullomail. DPOrganiser help privacy professionals and organisations manage their processing of personal data with their powerful Software-as-a-Service. All three companies are committed to digital transformation and how it is essential in order to master the challenges of tomorrow and maintain competitiveness in the era of globalization.

The public sector will have to make considerable progress in digitalization and cutting edge IT solutions if it is to keep up and now is the time to do so. Tailored IT solutions, state-of-the-art network infrastructure and scalable, cloud-based solutions will play a pivotal part. IT is key to reengineering and streamlining processes – and, as such, it will be critical in future efforts to modernize government bodies. As organisations strive to balance priorities, including the allocation of resources and meeting public expectations, it will become increasingly clear that new approaches are needed.

Public Sector Solutions will be first broadcast on our usual channel, Propeller TV (Sky 185) on Sunday 3rd March at 10.00am, and repeated on Sunday 7th April at 10.00am.  After the initial broadcast, the programme will then be available online at http://www.executivetv.org with the rest of our digital archive.

About Executive TV

Executive TV have been producing business focused documentaries for the past six years. Our programming covers the whole breath of commerce and industry in the UK, from manufacturing and heavy industry through to financial services and consultancy. We have always made innovation a focus of our programs; telling the story of new ideas and how they are impacting companies in Britain.

Executive TV have based our success on bringing our audience the knowledge, experience and expertise of our featured partners. We offer our audience insights into the future of British industry, as well as exclusive access to leading figures from across the public and private sectors.

How GDS is driving government digital transformation

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Employing more than 500 people, The Government Digital Service (GDS) is the governmental department responsible for transforming digital practices of the entire central government, whether the Cabinet Office or the Whitehall departments.

What is GDS?

Created in 2011, the Government Digital Service (GDS) seeks to ensure that the huge number of government departments, all which have different levels of technological maturity, are benefitting from the same levels of digital innovation. It also seeksto improve the experience of residents making use of the different departments, ensuring the right services are digitised and that accounts and information are linked with other systems and services, in addition to striving to make tasks completed with as little effort as possible. When it was first developed, the GDS set out to create a “digital by default” strategy so that any new services offered by the government are available digitally, rather than requiring internal or external parties to fill out paper forms; the idea was not to replace services with digital only options, but instead to encourage those who can turn digital to do so.

What has it achieved?

A major part of the GDS’s work was developing and promoting the gov.uk website, which acts as an umbrella-source of information for government departments. The site houses many application forms and vital services that UK citizens need to access, with everything from driving licence applications to PAYE tax returns as well as information on social care and much more. The central idea behind the site’s development was to create “government-as-a-service” and ensure all digital services used the same components rather than bespoke software. It replaced hundreds of websites used by individual departments and public bodies, encompassing a much more joined-up approach than what existed previously. The goals were clear from the start; make government services more accessible to the public and to reduce government spending on IT.  The 15-month project saw GDS close 85 website domains and subdomains in the process of moving 312 agencies and government organisations over to share one domain. This made it easier for people to find the public services they were looking for; many of them were digitised and available online via gov.uk.

Another achievement was GDS’s spending controls on departments’ IT budgets, where GDS vetoes any contracts that break its £100 million red lines. While there are exceptions like the Ministry of Defence, most departments must work within these controls, which also encourage departments to build prototypes rather than outlining specs in long documentation, and to break contracts into chunks, rather than going with one large provider. The spending controls directly saved £339 million in 2015/16, according to the Cabinet Office.

A key ongoing project is Government-as-a-Platform (GaaP). The scheme aims to replace departments’ customised IT systems with shared, standardised platforms. Doing so would cut down on costly duplicated IT systems, such as when the Ministry of Justice wrote off a £56 million ERP system after discovering the Cabinet Office had already built such a system with the same provider.

The future

GDS has evolved from a driving force of digital departments dragging along with it, to a guiding hand helping the public sector achieve digital transformation. How will its role develop in the future? By 2020, the government wants Verify to have 25 million users – a huge increase on the 1.1 million it had as of January 2017. This will require an enormous level of engagement and they will likely have to bring in lots of alternative sources of ID such as bank accounts and credit cards.

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Another ambitious goal of the strategy is to boost digital skills within government, getting civil servants to understand digital and digital experts to understand government. GDS is launching a Digital Skills Academy to train people up, and a Data Science Accelerator Programme to improve people’s ability to handle data. By improving its rewards structure, it believes it can hold onto digital experts too, fending off the lure of higher wages in the private sector. What’s more, more skills will help GDS deliver the big goals of the transformation strategy and train the next generation of technologists in the languages that they believe will deliver their vison of the future.

5 ways the public sector can use AI to streamline digital services

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In late 2018 councils were granted over £1 million in funding to help shape and improve digital services and to explore the potential that new technologies can offer. Already, a number of public sector organisations have begun to use virtual assistants for a variety of tasks, such as supporting disabled people in their homes to taking queries about bin collections and processing council tax payments. We look at how, for the public sector, using chatbots can improve efficiency, frontline service delivery, as well as user satisfaction.

  1. Chatbots enable citizens to contact councils out-of-hours

People want services beyond the normal 9 to 5 business hours. No longer must people wait until the morning to find out detailed information regarding an inquiry, chatbots can provide specific details 24/7. Complaints and reports can also be processed around the clock. For example, Waltham Forest just introduced an online system for processing environmental concerns such as fly-tipping.

  1. Chatbots work faster

Reducing wait times enhances experience. Instead of leaving people waiting on the phone, chatbots can handle simple requests immediately. The best chatbots interact with more people faster than humans will ever be able to. The trick is knowing when and where to use them. In many cases, chatbots are basically a more informal way for people to navigate your website and find the right information.

  1. Chatbots help free up employees

Chatbot’s artificial intelligence ensures human resources are only used when they’re needed. Councils today are facing an increase in complicated, resource demanding enquiries from citizens. Chatbots have the potential to help with this by handling simple, high volume queries while enabling frontline employees to deal with more complex enquiries that require higher levels of judgement and empathy.

  1. Chatbots make feedback easier

A chatbot is the easiest and most natural way to engage users to collect feedback, both qualitative and quantitative. With smart backend integrations, bots can automatically route the feedback to the right departments within the government for quick action and redressal.

  1. Chatbots make services more accessible

 Chatbots can provide the ultimate user experience and breakdown barriers in accessibility. For example, by providing conversation experiences like those in Facebook Messenger. Transport For London launched its Messenger chatbot, Travelbot, in 2017, which now deals with thousands of enquiries daily.

As AI develops, chatbots for the public sector will only become broader and more sophisticated at mirroring human interaction. They will be able to comprehend more complex patterns of human speech and build from every interaction they have. This means that, eventually, they will be able to tackle more challenging tasks alongside frontline employees so that public organisations can focus their resources on the most complex enquiries and improving their services.

Setting Records

From storing medical records digitally to the rise of surgical robots and personalised medicine, digital transformation is revolutionising public healthcare. New technologies are transforming how patients engage with services, driving improvements in efficiency and helping people manage their health and well-being in more effective ways. However, delivering such large-scale transformation is no easy task and involves risks for public health leaders. At Executive TV, the aim of our latest programme, Setting Records, in our Digitalisation of Healthcare series is to look at how, in order to maximise uptake, patients and the public need to be aware of the benefits of digitalisation, while being reassured about data security and use.

In this programme, we hear from a range of digital healthcare specialists and public health organisations. RioMed is a software development company that provides cutting-edge digital healthcare solutions to a range of public and private clients. DMF Systems deploy high-end modular software in laboratories, for Clinicians and Hospital administration. Tiani Spirit is a world leader in the eHealth market, implementing the world’s most comprehensive Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.  The National Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Audit is a computer-based system designed to collect demographic, clinical and outcome details on admissions to ICUs in hospitals nationally. Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria is a partnership of organisations working together to improve services and help 1.7 million people live longer, healthier lives.

Digitalisation of Healthcare: Setting Records will be first broadcast on our usual channel, Propeller TV (Sky 185) on Sunday 24th February at 10.00am, and repeated on Sunday 31st March at 10.00am. After the initial broadcast, the programme will then be available online at http://www.executivetv.org with the rest of our digital archive.

Full digitisation of the UK’s public health sector is a project with significant challenges for security, privacy, availability and reliability. But the social benefits of digitisation already experienced indicate that it is a sector with potential to lead development toward the new digital age. Digitisation of health services will be one of the biggest public sector challenges of the coming years; yet if it is managed and implemented correctly it will bring the greatest of all developments promised by technology – healthier lives.

About Executive TV

Executive TV have been producing business focused documentaries for the past six years. Our programming covers the whole breath of commerce and industry in the UK, from manufacturing and heavy industry through to financial services and consultancy. We have always made innovation a focus of our programs; telling the story of new ideas and how they are impacting companies in Britain.

Executive TV have based our success on bringing our audience the knowledge, experience and expertise of our featured partners. We offer our audience insights into the future of British industry, as well as exclusive access to leading figures from across the public and private sectors

The Future will be automated: What can we expect from automation?

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In 2017, it was reported that South Korea had introduced the first “robot tax” to combat the effects of automation on taxable income. As one of the world’s major factory nations, South Korea also has the highest concentration of robots in the world (531 multipurpose industrial robots for every 10,000 employees). Sufficiently worried about the impact of automation on its workforce, the nation withdrew tax subsidies that had previously been awarded to manufacturers that bought robots. Whilst not technically a “tax”, the motive was clear: limit the benefits of automation and automation will slow down. South Korea’s concern – that that a too-rapid expansion of automation in heavy industry has the potential to strain both social structures and government coffers – was reaffirmed when the subsidy reduction, due to expire at the end of the year, was extended into 2019. This raised important questions regarding the future of automation and sparked debate about how governments will inevitably be forced to deal with a significant reduction in their taxable income.

In the US, for example, payroll tax and income tax make up 81% of federal tax revenue. Both will decline as automation increases, and the government will have to compensate for a loss in revenue. Although estimates vary, most agree that a large percentage of the workforce is already threatened by automation. PwC predicts that by the mid-2030s, 30% of all UK jobs are at risk of automation and 47% of low education jobs, such as retail and manufacturing, will be threatened.

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Amazon’s robots bring shelves of goods out of storage and carry them to employees, allowing Amazon to retrieve more items for more customers simultaneously

 Although automation is due to hit some high-wage professions, such as radiology (radiologists are posed to be the first wave of AI-driven job loss amongst doctors), it is widely accepted that, at least initially, it will be disproportionately concentrated on low-wage, low-skill employment. Thus, automation threatens to worsen inequality. Already, we have seen the hollowing-out of British high streets by the e-commerce shift to huge spaces such as Amazon’s “fulfilment centres” where machines take care of all the picking, packing and processing.

Moreover, technology that was once considered expensive and undeveloped is already here and being used extensively. Amazon uses 100,000s of “robot drivers” to move goods around its vast distribution centres worldwide. There have also been calls to address the forthcoming automation of truck driver jobs, which number some 3.5 million in the US, and are the most common job for males in every state. Drivers, whom must be rested, insured and paid will slowly and surely be phased out by the industry. This is not to mention the vast trucker infrastructure of approximately 5 million who work at truck stops, motels, diners and retail establishments. When fully autonomous trucks cease to stop (except to charge, presumably autonomously), one can imagine the drying up of economic vitality on an unprecedented level in many of these communities.

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Volvo’s driverless truck concept Vera, which comprises a fully electric system, as well as autonomous driving capabilities

 Tech giant Bill Gates is one of the well-known advocates of a robot tax. He has argued that governments should levy a tax on the use of robots in a goal to fund retraining of those who lose jobs and to slow automation. However, many are critical of such a move, arguing that it will stifle innovation. In 2018, the European Parliament rejected a similarly proposed robot tax, arguing that automation and the use of robots create new jobs by increasing productivity, pointing to a correlation between robot density and employment in advanced industrial nations. For one thing, it would be very difficult to create a robot tax because, in practice, robots aren’t easily identifiable or defined. For example, if we were to tax a robots output, how would we measure this? The rate of tax could perhaps be based on the cost of the human labour that the robot has replaced, but this creates further challenges such as the fact that humans have finite lifespans, unlike robots.

Against such difficulties, alternatives to a robot tax may be more appealing. Helping those affected by automation (e.g. truck drivers) is a front-runner. If an individual is displaced by automation they will need immediate reskilling in order to prevent long-term unemployment. Ethical employers should want to ensure that their employees are looked after, so there may be scope for legislation to ensure that companies are required to pay for some re-training, but even this would be difficult to define in detail enough that it would not be subject to abuse. There are also clear advantages to automation other than increasing efficiency, such as improving safety and promoting innovative industry. Whether discouraging automation is desirable is perhaps a debate that will continue as long as new technology continues to develop.

PUBLIC SECTOR TRANSFORMATION

Transforming public services is hard. Budget and demographic constraints are placing more pressure than ever on already stretched resources and many service providers are struggling to cope.  Despite this, in the past decade, we have witnessed significant changes to how public organisations operate as they continually evolve in an effort to keep pace with the changes. The latest programme in our Digitalisation of the Public Sector series, Public Sector Transformation, looks at how digital technology is having a dramatic impact on the way people engage with the public sector and how the public sector is harnessing the latest benefits that technology has to offer.

In this programme, we hear from a range of companies who are working with the public sector to provide innovative digital solutions. Deep3 create mission critical software and have expertise in some of the most challenging operational environments. DF2020’s flagship product Chatbot Author transforms complex knowledge into a valuable form of new big data, generating real-time business intelligence. Ekko Group creates software to help businesses measure success, support engagement and boost customer experience. Microsoft UK are working directly to digitally transform their government, justice, defence and health customers.  We also hear from Kettering General Hospital about how they are boosting patient experience with the help of automated digital solutions.

Public Sector Transformation will be first broadcast on our usual channel, Propeller TV (Sky 185) on Sunday 17th February at 10.30am, and repeated on Sunday 10th March at 10.30am.  After the initial broadcast, the programme will then be available online at http://www.executivetv.org with the rest of our digital archive.

Digital technology has and will continue to alter the environment in which public bodies operate, change the way they work and the way they communicate with the public. The public sector is often perceived as being behind the curve in adopting and implementing new technologies, however, by collaborating closely with private companies, they can deliver robust digital strategies in diverse areas, such as health and public administration.

About Executive TV

Executive TV have been producing business focused documentaries for the past six years. Our programming covers the whole breath of commerce and industry in the UK, from manufacturing and heavy industry through to financial services and consultancy. We have always made innovation a focus of our programs; telling the story of new ideas and how they are impacting companies in Britain.

Executive TV have based our success on bringing our audience the knowledge, experience and expertise of our featured partners. We offer our audience insights into the future of British industry, as well as exclusive access to leading figures from across the public and private sectors.