If we’re to stimulate economic growth in the UK, deliver better services, improve living standards and support the wellbeing of citizens, we need the public sector to be as productive as it can be.

However, much of the recent media attention has focused on government infrastructure projects that have taken too long with high costs, such as HS2.

To address the productivity challenge, we partnered with The Productivity Institute to find practical ways for public sector organisations to accelerate productivity and create a pathway to improve efficiency, opportunities and outcomes for all.

We discovered three key drivers of public sector productivity:

  1. Adaptive business design
  2. Innovation and digital transformation
  3. Building an agile workforce

Here, I want to delve deeper into the role of digital transformation. The term itself can feel too broad, and often clients tell us that they simply do not know where to start. However, we advocate looking at the individual challenges that they face, such as in their operations or customer service, and using technology to simplify, streamline, and enhance individual processes. This incremental approach to digital transformation can be simpler to achieve while minimising disruption to services.

Improving productivity in procurement

Using technology to automate elements of a particular process can minimise manual error and provide insights that inform decision-making. This can completely transform ways of working.

The Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust saved millions of pounds by working with us to implement a new procurement service. Our procurement category experts conducted a procurement maturity review that looked at every element of the procurement process. We identified more than £25m of potential savings that could be delivered over the next five years.

Over the following eight months we delivered a transformation programme that enhanced strategy, policy, governance, contract management, business intelligence, training and service quality. 

The Trust’s management team now have greater visibility of contracts and types of spend. They can also track costs, at a granular level, and the procurement function’s performance through a balanced scorecard of metrics. This has improved productivity by enabling the team to work faster and more effectively. More than £20m of the targeted £25m in contract life savings has been delivered to date, equating to a reduction of more than £1.9m in recurring costs per year.

Using technology to automate some processes can also lead to a culture of continuous improvement. That’s because teams have greater flexibility and autonomy to focus on the areas where they can have the greatest impact, such as supporting vulnerable customers. It also gives them space for creative thinking that is fundamental to driving forward innovation. You can read the full story here.

Using data to improve Police Scotland's decision-making

Data is a key part of how public sector organisations work and can improve productivity by providing the insights that inform decision-making. Police Scotland have seen the benefits of this after we helped them to bring together over 40 different data sources from eight legacy regional forces into one integrated system.

By utilising the skills and experience of our policing experts we helped the force to seamlessly migrate the data, which means they are no longer bound by the limitations of their old systems and can easily access and use their operational and organisational data to make connections that inform their decisions. This is now helping to drive faster and better decision-making, which is more efficient, effective and productive.

By using digital technology to improve processes and your use of data, you can take incremental steps to boost productivity.


Learn more about the three key drivers of productivity and the practical steps you can take:
Download our full report with The Productivity Institute

Written by

Al Murray

Mark Boorman

Head of Marketing, Productivity

Mark has over 25 years’ experience in technology marketing. He works closely with business development teams and client partners to raise awareness and drive client interest for Capita’s services and solutions in the justice and policing, central government and transport sectors. He is focused on how public sector organisations can improve their productivity, performance and outcomes.

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