Dramatic rate of change expected for public sector

Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector 2016, one of the UK's largest surveys of its kind, demonstrates the dramatic rate of change expected within public sector online service delivery by 2019.

Digital Self-Service survey 2016 report cover

Now in its second year, the survey of 406 senior managers from nearly 300 public sector organisations reveals that digital self-service is expected to grow by 140% within the next three years (from 26% of services delivered digitally today to 62% by 2019).

In 2015 19% of services were available online. The 2016 survey reveals that 26% of all public sector services are now delivered digitally - a 37% increase within a year.

This is set to grow significantly with the public sector aiming to deliver 62% of services online by 2019.

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Rob McCarthy, CEO, GOSS Interactive, said:

It's promising to see the amount of services being delivered online is steadily increasing. This is broadly in line with our expectations. Councils must pick up the pace in moving services online if they are to realise the significant amount of change required to meet budget pressures and radically improve the online experience for citizens to help drive that adoption."

Results from the latest GOSS survey demonstrate that organisations are adopting one of two approaches to moving services online.

An 'evolutionary' approach is being adopted by 54% of organisations, by moving services one at a time with each department selecting its own technical solution.

The remaining 46% of organisations are taking an 'revolutionary' approach to digital self-service, deploying a single digital platform to migrate all services to digital channels.

Rob McCarthy added:

An evolutionary approach is lower risk and the success of the first services can be used to develop a business case for other solutions. This however, typically leads to a proliferation of systems and interfaces, which causes problems in streamlining the customer experience and becomes expensive to run in the long term.


Deploying a single digital platform to deliver all services in a unified system allows for a more coherent, planned approach. Although a potentially larger initial investment, it can realise a faster and consistent return on investment.


Over half of organisations are taking an evolutionary approach, yet our findings show this just won't be enough to meet the expected growth rate of digital self-service.


The public sector must take action now in order to meet the budgetary challenges its facing while keeping the vital public services it delivers operational.


The next 12 months will be crucial. If EU funds for local government are not completely replaced, budgets will likely come under even more pressure, so councils need to start radically revolutionising their approaches to self-service so they can start realising savings quickly."

Public sector staff can download a full copy of the report for free. Download yours now

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