Laura Sharman 13 May 2015

Most councils failing to offer core services online finds research

Only a quarter of councils offer more than half of their core services online, according to new research into the progress of digital transformation.

The survey, conducted by Verint Systems Inc, found that 37% of the councils provide less than a quarter of services online, despite more than third (36%) saying they expect virtually all services to be online within two years.

The research slow found that while two-thirds of respondents are evaluating the suitability of services to go online within the next two years, less than 15% are using direct customer feedback as part of the decision process.

David Moody, vice president and global leader, government and public sector, Verint Enterprise Intelligence Solutions, said: ‘While many may now strive to deploy an all-encompassing digital strategy, targets must be set and expectations carefully managed.

‘For example, this can entail looking at your customer base and deciding if a totally digital approach is really going to be appropriate. Serving up to 99% of processes online would be unsuitable for those who don’t have access to the web, and our research found that at least 10% fall into this category.’

The survey also showed that 42% of councils plan to implement chat functionality in real-time going forward, with 48% planning to roll-out customer mobile access. A further 29% also said they predicted to increase social media transactions across Facebook and Twitter.

Moody added: ‘In this digital age, it’s encouraging to see some striving to adopt a more ‘digital first’ approach, but there’s still a long way to go. Authorities’ underlying infrastructures will play a pivotal role and should be the first consideration in this type of initiative.

‘While focus must be on digital, it’s neither beneficial nor realistic to move most or all service online. Successful digital strategies recognise the need to support customers through the provision of multiple channels, including chat, email, voice and human interaction.’

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