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Digital self-service set to treble in three years



Goss survey shows ma majority of public sector organisations aim to move most services online

Public sector bodies aim to increase the availability of digital self-service by 310% over the next three years, and expect to save £8.74 million each over the same period.

A survey of 355 senior managers from 256 organisations, conducted for web technology provider Goss Interactive, has shown that while an average of 19% of services are now available digitally, this is expected to rise to between 50-100% over the period.

Just over half of the organisations (56%) have a self-service strategy in place, often as part of broader strategies for customer contact or digital. Only 6% have it within channel shift and 5% as its own strategy area.

Most already have the moves in the pipeline, with 40% saying there is a business case in place and 32% having plans to develop one over the next 12 months.

For local government, the areas where the move to self-service are expected to have the most importance are rubbish and recycling and council tax, both identified by more than 100 authorities. They are followed by planning and housing.

Prime benefits

Reducing costs is seen as the prime benefit for the organisations, while providing access to services outside of office hours is the main benefit to customers.

The results also suggest there will be a strong emphasis on the use of customer portals, with 206 of the responses identifying them as highly important. There is also a strong emphasis on mobile websites with strong content, identified by 193.

Rob McCarthy, chief executive officer of Goss Interactive, said: “In local government, there is a strategic move from shifting ad-hoc services to digital channels to having a cross-organisation ‘self-service platform approach’.

“The next 12 months will be a critical time, with many organisations planning to significantly increase self-service to address budget deficits and improve service delivery. To this end, public sector organisations are working hard to deliver an integrated end-to-end approach to digital in general and self-service in particular.

“Even today, analysis of Goss clients’ web traffic shows that upwards of 40% of public sector transactions take place outside office hours and that figure is only set to increase. To meet these challenges, digital self-service is no longer optional – it is essential.”


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