Elements of the report have implications for the IT skills agenda in Whitehall, strengthening the case for a sustained investment in the area;
At a low level, the development of ‘assisted digital’ will be important in ensuring that the minority who are not online will have access to services;
Many government staff in customer facing roles will be expected to sharpen up their digital skills to provide support for these people and to help deliver the savings expected from the shift to online;
Government has to ensure it has the capability to provide the technical safeguards against hacking and cyber attack, and to provide more robust models of identity assurance to be sure that people accessing services are who they claim to be. If it fails to do so it will be increasingly vulnerable to fraud and find itself having to set the losses against future efficiency savings;
The government has to commit resources to training and retaining its staff. But in the long term it will do much to produce the magnitude of savings it requires.
He concludes that if the government “wants to save those billions for the public coffers it will have to ensure that it has the digital capabilities on a sufficient scale.”