Data and System Integration enables Multi-Agency Working within public services

By working in isolation, public services and partner agencies lose sight of the wider vulnerabilities. Opportunities for early intervention can be overlooked. This is essential to deliver a proactive service for citizens and communities. Furthermore, public services and partner agencies are universally accepting that system integration for information sharing is key. It enables strategic needs assessment and targeted planning of resources.

At Locality Solutions, we work with our customers to understand the benefits of systems integration between internal and external management systems for the benefit of information sharing.

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The Institute for Fiscal Studies have predicted that budget cuts will continue until 2020 resulting in local government needing to find more efficient ways to generate more value for money. In 2014/15 local government have suffered 40 percent cuts to its budget putting pressure on their finances. Meanwhile, the demand on local services have been increasing as a result of recession, the ageing population and the increasing numbers of 0-5 year olds. Furthermore, Welfare Reforms and other specialist programmes place further demands on resources, it’s no longer business as usual.

 

Throughout the nation, councils have been working and jointly investing in the necessary technology infrastructure with central government. This has seen a rise in faster broadband connections and the PSN (Public Services Network) to support the adoption of more open source cloud – based technology within the sector for better information sharing.

 

The negative effects and challenges brought about by budget cuts at a council level have trickled down to the housing sector. The housing sector is now expected to transform their businesses to meet these new challenges.

 

With the financial challenges faced by councils, business as usual is no longer an option for the housing sector. With less finances at it’s disposal, the housing sector have an obligation to ensure its customers are able to access key services in the most economic and user-friendly way. Housing also plays a vital role in ensuring adequate partnership working with other public, private and third sector for a positive citizen-focused service delivery outcome.

 

With the need for transformation to meet these challenges, it is integral that the sector as a whole start to recognise the opportunities offered by technology and digital tools with the aim of delivering more cost – efficient reliable services to citizens and customers alike.

 

There is a plethora of technology that can help the housing sector transform the way it delivers services and ensure operational efficiency to meet demands.

 

Mobile Working and the Cloud.

 

Mobile working platforms have allowed for workforces to be more productive. With the introduction of video-conferencing, route planning tools and Instant messaging on the move, it has become easier for remote workers to communicate and get the information they need for quick on the ground decision making.

 

Most modern applications are now web based and are being served on the cloud. This makes it easier for the housing workforce to access information remotely. By allowing access to vital customer information to your mobile workforce, not only does it empower the housing workforce to make timely decisions, but it improves service delivery for customers.

 

The cloud also presents an opportunity to acquire key IT Services as and when required instead of investing in a fixed infrastructure cost which is both expensive to buy and maintain. Cloud technology presents a huge opportunity for housing and local councils to showcase major cost savings.

 

Big Data.

 

With the ability to capture data more simply with easy to use web-based applications, there is now an opportunity for the housing sector to mine data for better decision making. Big data represents a huge opportunity around understanding customers’ priorities so resources can be better allocated to deliver key services.

 

Furthermore, joined-up working supported by technology allows for a more joined up data set which can enable local councils, other public and third sector organisations achieve more targeted service delivery while being cost efficient.

 

A recent study by the Policy Exchange on the Big Data Opportunity for the UK public sector concludes that overall efficiency of government operations through cutting edge operational performance could in time save the public sector up to £16 billion to £33 billion per year. The study can be found here. 

 

 

 

POLICY EXCHANGE STUDY

 

business as usual

 

 

What does Mobile Workforce really mean?

 

The simplest definition proposes that a mobile workforce is a

‘group of employees operating from a variety of locations, connected by computers, smartphones and other devices via the Internet.’

 

Indeed, Mobile workers are increasingly becoming the norm thanks to technological improvement and increased connectivity. This constant advancement in technology has not only made mobile devices powerful business tools, but has enabled workforces to conduct business around the clock, regardless of time or geographical location.

 

Today’s mobile workers are using such applications as business intelligence, analytics, remote collaboration and social media on their mobile devices. A plethora of cloud based services exist to support the mobile workforce. Various dashboards and software products help professionals collaborate, managers to monitor workflow, delegate work amongst team members or external contractors, and lead a mobile workforce that’s not centralised in a traditional office.

 

The popularity of cloud services are just one indicator to show that the mobile workforce is due to become the norm. As both software and hardware evolve, the information technology industry is becoming more capable of helping companies to outsource more diverse tasks, both anywhere and everywhere.

 

Benefits of a Mobile Workforce

The benefits here lie both with the user and the organisation.

 

  • Regulate a better work / Life balance                           
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased customer service
  • More workflow flexibility

 

Needs of the Mobile Workforce

 

  • Flexible work schedules   none
  • Ability to use mobile devices
  • Modern, Secure remote access solutions

 

Steps to Enable a Mobile Workforce

 

Here are some steps organisations should consider when planning and developing an effective mobile workforce:

 

  • Make mobility the heart of your interaction model. Keep in mind that there are two important types of interactions for organizations: employee empowerment and customer engagement. In both cases, the goal should be to provide universal access to people, applications and data.

 

  • Establish clear, attainable business goals and measurable outcomes for enterprise mobility. It’s not enough to say that every salesperson in your organisation requires remote access to your customer relationship management applications. Your business goals for mobility need to be specific and quantifiable—for example, increase sales of add-on products by a certain percentage.

 

  • Commit to a strategy of application modernisation. Developing, integrating and operating new mobile applications can motivate your workforce and enable significant increases in productivity. But you probably won’t realise the full benefit unless your IT organisation modernises its portfolio of business applications to make it easier, more reliable and less expensive to manage on a day-to-day basis.

 

  • Realise that security and compliance are critical business issues. Business leaders should be collaborating with IT organizations to develop security best practices for an increasingly mobile workforce. Failure to do so could result in service interruptions, threats to customer privacy and also data loss. Keep in mind that widespread compliance and legal issues come into play when mobile workforces fail to take proper safeguards.

 

mobile workforce

 

 

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