Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to deliver his 2017 budget this coming Wednesday and inevitably the weekend newspapers were filled with speculation, followed by the Sunday morning chat shows stuffed full of soundbites and opinions.
What is inevitable however about Wednesday is the need to address some key issues outside of the dominant news story that is Brexit and start to shift some meaningful attention onto the likes of our Social Care services which are desperately struggling to cope with an ageing demographic and an NHS system that varies in quality throughout the country.
By 2020 it’s predicted the shortfall facing the UK health service will be £30 billion, with health managers expected to find efficiency savings in that same period of £22 billion. Closer to home, the local authority which I personally reside in has raised Council tax by 4.95% with 3% of that committed exclusively to rising social care costs.
The Chancellor quite rightly has stated; “money isn’t just the answer to our problems”. History has shown before that we can often do more with less. I recall Bill Clinton once being asked how he managed to achieve consecutive years of budget surplus, whilst at the same time managing to create more private sector jobs, reduce state dependency and at the same time improve education levels, his answer was one word – “Arithmetic”.
Thinking about those two statements, got me thinking about the role technology is playing and the role it isn’t playing today. Since 2010, Digital Transformation has been a consistent government theme often spoken about and often heralded by various Public Sector entities every time one has transitioned into the Cloud. But is that enough? Are we truly achieving Digital Transformation? My gut feeling is no and I believe the impeding Health and Social care crisis we are heading towards is a sign that Digital Transformation has yet to be fully realised across the whole of the Public Sector.
Instead of looking towards meeting it’s short-medium term objectives, the Public Sector must revisit its long-term goals and start to capitalise on ‘Big Data’. Just as the Private Sector is already doing so.
Last week, Michael Wignall, National Technology Officer at Microsoft UK, posted a fascinating article which highlighted one example of an NHS trust which is now using predictive technology and video calling to help patients. In my opinion, this type of service should be the norm and be happening right across the UK, there shouldn’t only be pockets of excellence.
By 2018, it’s anticipated nearly 50% of all ICT spend will be controlled by Business Decision Makers (BDM) rather than the Chief IT Officers. Now is the time for the Chancellor and Chief Executives to empower and embolden BDM’s to start capitalising on ‘Big Data’ and work with partner’s like risual who can help not just transition organisations to the ‘Cloud’ but who can also help them harness the power of that data to effect positive and meaningful change. An increase in funding from the Government would be nice, but the real ‘Silver Bullet’ is data and it’s already in the palm of our hands, you just need the help of a risual to help you capitalise on it.
Help from risual will typically start with our Business Group function who deliver strategic propositions including Connected Business which enables organisations achieve a strong data culture to transform data into intelligent action.
Strong data, arithmetic and an IT strategy which is genuinely transformative will help the UK economy deliver efficient and predictable Public Services. If you want to capitalise on ‘Big Data’ and be part of the next Industrial Revolution, then get in touch with us.