The art of doing more with less: public services and the XaaS economy
Posted by Mark Gibbison
Public services are, by their nature, accountable – particularly when it comes to how money is spent. Thankfully, advances in cloud software are enabling organizations to do more with less while delivering effective results, as Mark Gibbison, Unit4’s head of public services, explains.
Communities have high expectations of public service organizations, and they want them to prioritize efficiency. Recent research by the 2020 Public Services Trust found that more half (52 percent) of people think it’s more important for public sector bodies to be professional and effective than friendly and helpful, showing the strong desire for a results-driven approach.
To deliver on these demands, an increasing number of organizations are embracing developments in the Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) economy. Cloud-based applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology are enabling public service institutions to work in a responsive, agile manner, bringing teams together to meet rising expectations, without needing to increase budget.
Austerity is no longer an excuse
The challenge public service organizations face is that they’re expected to do more with less. Wind the clock back a decade and most people understood that austerity meant cuts in public spending, and this would affect essential services.
In a recent Deloitte survey, however, just one in five (19 percent) people agreed that there was still a need to reduce public spending (down from 54 percent in 2010). Any belt tightening, therefore, cannot be seen to affect delivery standards.
The key to achieving more with less lies in making the backend work harder. The best-performing public service organizations are aligning data, digital and IT strategies using cloud-based ERP software with agile business applications, in order to enable efficient, flexible operations.
One version of the truth, updated instantly
Embracing the Xaas economy provides a valuable opportunity for public services bodies to review and modernize organizational processes.
One of the biggest efficiency barriers in the public sector currently is speed of response; institutions simply don’t have the capacity to react quickly to fast-paced disruption and policy changes.
By utilizing a cloud-based ERP platform, organizations can work holistically to embrace change as rapidly as possible, minimizing the disruptive impact of regulation requirements and updates.
And as the software can be accessed remotely, the same features and insights can be used by teams across multiple locations; there is only one version of the truth, and this version is instantly updated for everyone concerned.
Empowered, focused decision-making
The other key benefit of XaaS software is immediate access to operational data. According to KPMG research, 60 percent of government organizations do not feel confident about their data and analytical insights, but ERP technology can improve this confidence to empower decision-making capabilities.
Armed with evidential proof, public service organizations can streamline administrative processes to enable best practice in every aspect of their operations. They are also able to strategically focus activities, restricting spending in low priority areas to ensure that the greatest investment of resources delivers the biggest benefits.
The art of doing more with less
In the XaaS economy, the best public service organizations never give up on the search for new ways to do more with less. Research shows that 75 per cent of the public believe institutions can deliver savings without damaging the services people receive, and cloud-based ERP software is the key to delivering on this belief.
With the right cloud ERP platform, public services bodies can enable digital transformation, improve operational processes, and most importantly, make results-based decisions that deliver the best possible community services for the budget available.
Find a platform that will help you do more with less; download the industry brochure: A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC SERVICES — why the public services industry has a golden opportunity and how the leaders are taking advantage of it.