Government Pragmatic About Digital While Big Data Promises Big Gains

Results from research by HP into attitudes within government towards spend on digital and satisfaction with outcomes found it more conservative in plans and expectations compared with other sectors.

Perhaps burnt by a string of high-profile failures of government IT projects, a vein of caution runs through all plans and perceptions about the impact of technology. Recent fiascos number the axed e-borders programme, a £56m Ministry of Justice  project canned after the department realised the Cabinet Office had a system doing the same thing, and more than £10 bn spent on the NHS programme for IT.

However government leaders in digital are pragmatic in that they expect technology to be able to solve current business problems, rather than having pie-in-the-sky thoughts about future impacts or revenue generation. A healthy 50% of respondents expect digital to be a problem solver, compared with 41% in telecoms and 36% in entertainment.

Of all the technologies invested in to date, security has been the biggest spend and the biggest disappointment: of the sample 59% invested the most in security with  44% reporting it the most disappointing investment.  In fact there’s a correlation between amount of spend and level of dissatisfaction across all technologies surveyed, with the exception of big data.

Big data alone has delivered more than expected, with the government delivering hundreds of thousands of services, it’s no wonder that linking up accompanying datasets will occasionally hit the jackpot.  A great example of joining up data was  when  a local authority blended data about services, such as road gritting rotas, with services for people at risk, such as ‘meals on wheels’ during a spell of bad weather.

For the full research results on the government verticle click here

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Also by Helen Beckett

Helen Beckett is the Community Manager of the Business helen bioValue Exchange.  She has been a writer and editor for over 20 years and takes a particular interest in the challenges facing the CIO in today’s business climate.