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GDS identifies innovation strategy priorities


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Government Digital Service (GDS) has pointed to the priorities for its forthcoming innovation strategy for public services by pointing to three barriers that need to be overcome.

They comprise a need to build capability and an innovation culture among civil servants; procurement processes that make it hard for start-ups to work with government; and issues around combining legacy infrastructure with new technology.

The factors have emerged from an ‘innovation morning’ run with IT industry association techUK last month, reported in a blogpost by GDS innovation policy adviser Izzy Watson.

It says it was the first in a series of events to collect input from the industry, academia and the public sector on how government could use emerging technologies.

Watson says that work is already going in different quarters to approach the challenges and that GDS is aiming to build on this in developing the strategy.

“It was clear from the conversation at the innovation morning there are huge opportunities to use new technologies to drive efficiencies and improve people’s experience using government services,” she says.

GDS revealed it was working on the strategy in August, with the aim of publishing in spring of next year. It has also formed an innovation team to work with other parts of the Cabinet Office, other departments and the devolved administrations to develop the innovation strategy.

At the time it said the need for a strategy comes from the dispersal around government of projects to harness new technologies and concerns that there could be a significant duplication of efforts and failure for teams to learn from each other’s work.

Image by Khairil Zhafri, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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