The report, produced in association with the Linked Organisation of Local Authority ICT Societies (LOLA) and Major Cities of Europe (MCE), takes a distinctive position, focusing on local public service and place-making outcomes.
Easy to digest key messages are set within detailed analysis from author and Socitm associate director Jos Creese, who describes what the digital future holds, following the rapid public sector response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The report explains, “traditionally, the public sector has not been seen as ‘agile’; it has tended to be cautious, slow and rule-bound, which all conspire against successful and rapid digital implementation. This changed dramatically in 2020, with the need to adapt and adjust policy and working practices in timeframes that would have been unimaginable a year before.
“Now, the majority of public service organisations are revisiting their plans, and not just in terms of IT priorities. Whilst there is much to be built upon from previous plans, much is new, and the emphasis and culture has changed.”
Supported with personal contributions from UK local authorities and others around the world, the report provides a comprehensive look at the opportunities for the public sector. It highlights the crucial role of local authorities in helping communities to reset, reform and renew themselves and to become more resilient to future shocks.
Director of policy and research at Socitm, Martin Ferguson, said: “We’re delighted to launch this report today. It takes the discussion on from the phenomenal response in March 2020 by the public sector to onset of the pandemic, to where authorities can go in harnessing new technologies and data to create better outcomes, often in collaboration with local partners and communities. We have seen digitally mature public sector organisations fare better than those with a traditional IT focus. This was not because of ‘clever technology’, but because of how IT was used in purposeful and agile ways, a key factor which the report picks up as it shines the spotlight on this year’s key digital trends”.
With the increasing dependence on digital, it is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant increase in cyber security issues in the UK.
According to the City of London Police, 3,916 reports of cybercrime, equating to £2.9 million in reported losses, were received during the first month of lockdown alone. Data from NHS Digital show that NHS staff reported 21,188 malicious emails in March 2020. In addition, there has been a sharp rise in ransomware attacks against UK schools, colleges and universities since they returned in August.
The Changing Landscape of Cyber Security in the UK 2021 event takes place on 22nd April and will provide an important insight into how organisations can become more resilient and increase their actions to identify and manage cyber risks. Listen to case study examples of tackling the challenges from organisations from across the public sector including education, police, healthcare and local and central government.
Socitm Associate Director and Practice Lead on Digital Ethics, William Barker, joins the line-up of public sector leaders speaking at the event. William will speak on embedding digital ethics within governance structures to ensure cyber resilience.
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