Digital Transformation – Building a World-Class Scottish Digital Government

Cultivating a best practices community for Scottish Digital Government transformation

The Scottish Government has defined an inspiring, ambitious goal for the country to become a world leading digital nation by 2020.

A World-Class Digital Scotland requires a World-Class Digital Government.”Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary Finance and the Constitution.

“Digital Scotland:

  • Has a public sector that operates on contemporary, digital, platform-based business models.
  • Is led by a government that “gets digital” and supports its staff to operate in digital ways.”


However, research earlier this year from Civica identified an alarming reality gap between these high-level aims and the public sector charged with making them happen:

  • “57% of local government employees in Scotland do not believe the nation will achieve its digital vision by 2020.”
  • “Only 43% of local government workers believe the country will achieve its vision of being recognised as a truly digital nation by 2020.”
  • “only 19% of local government employees in Scotland believe their organisation has a clear vision for its transformation journey”.

The State of Scottish Public Sector Digital Transformation 2018

The challenge we’re setting out to address through this portal are acutely conveyed through research just published by Bridgeall.

They polled attendees of their public sector forum to identify the digital challenges facing Scotland’s public services and the progress being made, with the results making for grim reading:

  • Despite wide acceptance that digital can deliver more cost efficient, agile and citizen focused public services, fewer than half of public sector organisations in Scotland view digital supported transformation as being ‘mission critical’.
  • Fewer than one-third have an agreed digital transformation strategy in place providing a roadmap for change.
  • Progress in transforming service delivery has been slow with 81 percent of respondents stating that ‘little or only limited’ progress has been made. Only 15 per cent stated that ‘good progress’ was being made in digitally transforming service delivery.
  • The absence of digital leadership, organisational culture issues and digital skills shortages were identified as the three most important barriers to transformational change in Scotland’s public sector. Seventy-three per cent of respondents stated that their organisation lacked digital leadership. Other barriers to progress included fear, funding, resources and perceived risk.
  • Externally, few public sector organisations are leveraging the full potential of digital for delivering exceptional customer experiences at Key Moments of Truth in the customer journey. Only 15 percent of respondents stated that they were making good progress in this area.
  • Internally, many public sector organisations in Scotland continue to exhibit the classic symptoms of pre-digital workplaces – hierarchical, bureaucratic and controlling organisational structures; silos; ‘productivity busters’ such as excessive use of e-mail and numerous meetings; legacy technology and legacy management thinking; lack of innovation and staff engagement; poor communications; decision-making based on hunch rather than analytics.
  • Less than a third of respondents agreed that digital natives would find their organisation an attractive place to work.

Sharing Best Practices

Our community will document best practices for how to best address these challenges, sharing expertise for agencies to develop their own vision for Digital Transformation and become a component part of realizing the overall digital nation strategy for Scotland.

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Editor of the site.

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