Accelerating social value with digital
- Posted on January 24, 2022
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Citizens are expecting more from government and public services than ever before. Not surprisingly, Gartner forecasts global government IT spending to increase to $557.3 billion in 2022 in response to this demand. Government CIOs will also have the opportunity to source additional funding from multi-billion-dollar COVID-19 economic assistance funding packages in a number of regions, such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and NextGenEU. However, the traditional focus on doing more with less can no longer be the primary driver for these IT investments. Government and public services organizations will increasingly be required to use digital to achieve positive outcomes for people and the planet, as well as productivity.
In a number of countries, legislation dictates this three-pronged focus. For example, the Public Services (Social Value) Act in the UK requires “public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes.” Meanwhile, in Dubai, the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity is designed to help federal and local government entities integrate well-being principles into their programs, initiatives, policies and services.
Use digital to rethink sustainability
Organizations across industries are using digital to rethink sustainability to not only make positive impacts on the planet and people, but also reduce operating costs, innovate new ways of working and improve brand reputation. In the Netherlands, we’re working with drinking water supplier PWN to use data on Microsoft Azure to rapidly learn from data and make informed decisions on innovations to provide water services more sustainably. We’re also helping SSE Renewables use cloud, data and AI to generate insights to reimagine its operations and develop renewables services that positively contribute to the United Kingdom’s net zero targets.
A new OECD report also highlights how the pandemic has amplified the need for “decision-making that simultaneously considers impacts on current well-being, inclusion, and the sustainability of well-being over time.” The good news for CIOs in government and public services is that digital can help their organizations address this need faster and more effectively.
Tools to help maximize well-being
Creating social value may seem like a daunting prospect, especially for public sector organizations already challenged to meet the needs of employees, citizens and stakeholders with limited budgets. An important first step is adopting a social value mindset and seeking to proactively identify opportunities to use digital to accelerate and maximize economic, societal and environmental well-being. Additionally, some technology tools and frameworks that you can experiment with internally and externally include:
- Our Workplace Experience framework can help your organization transition to a hybrid work model that improves employee experience (and by extension, citizen experience), while also providing increased transparency into workplace effectiveness and accelerating sustainability goals.
- Intelligent automation and the internet of things can increase citizen responsiveness, improve safety, and free employees to focus on higher value and more satisfying tasks.
- The Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, currently in public preview, will help provide a complete picture of progress towards achieving environmental, societal and governance (ESG) targets aligned with social value.
With our deep digital expertise and privileged access to Microsoft, Avanade brings insights and capabilities to help you rethink sustainability and maximize social value from digital technologies.