Research & TrendsDo you do digital? asks Socitm in new guide for local public services

Do you do digital? asks Socitm in new guide for local public services

'Do you do digital?' emphasises the fact that council websites are increasingly accessed from smartphones and tablets and that website presentation needs to keep pace with this development.

A short and visual guide to ‘digital’ for top management teams in local public services has been published by Socitm, the association for IT and digital professionals.

Do you do digital?’ outlines the scope, reach and progress of digital adoption by local public services, highlighting best practice and areas requiring improvement or a faster pace of change. It is derived from Socitm research into the adoption of digital strategies, programmes and working by local authorities and other public services, published in its recent Better connected 2014 and Better with Less reports.

The guide content covers the growth in internet use and its stimulation by government policies; how customers can be engaged digitally through customer accounts, email alerts, and social media; the opportunity digital provides to re-design services for lower cost delivery; the use of digital to manage and even remove demand; and the ‘digital culture shift’ involved in the various new ways of working, like online networking, sharing through Twitter, blogging and ‘unconferences’, that are enabled by digital.

Do you do digital?  also challenges readers to ‘take the test’ on corporate commitment to digital, by scoring their organisation on nine indicators of corporate commitment to digital, and nine further indicators of digital capability.

Central to the document is presentation of some ‘vanilla’ designs encapsulating ideas about ‘what good looks like’ in websites that work well for both desktop and mobile users. Do you do digital? emphasises the fact that council websites are increasingly accessed from mobiles (smartphones and tablets) and that website presentation needs to keep pace with this development.

Results from the 2014 Better connected survey suggest that lack of attention to website presentation for mobile users is responsible for the slight deterioration in council website performance reported since 2013.

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