Transforming public sector services with a bold digital vision

The Scottish Government’s new digital strategy for public services reflects our experience of delivering a solution with one of their most innovative teams.

The Scottish Government recently published their Digital Strategy for Scotland, which sets out a vision for a modern public sector where digital technology underpins positive organisational change.

While the freshly-launched report contains many of the well-worn clichés we’ve come to expect of government, I couldn’t help but be struck by the many parallels between the narrative and the experiences of one of our customers – the Scottish Government’s own Digital Transformation Service (DTS).

DTS was set up in 2015 to engage and collaborate with central government bodies, to help them deliver digital programmes and build digital skills. In summer 2016, DTS chose to award CompanyNet a contract to help them mobilise a CRM strategy using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (now Dynamics 365).

Driving improved public services

They were clear that the effective adoption of CRM could drive significant improvements in the delivery of their services. The aim was to convince other government departments to effectively adopt the Dynamics 365 platform, in order to create a renewed service focus. That would lead to better service delivery, lower costs and, ultimately, an improvement in common government services.

The CRM pilot was very successful, leading to a cloud solution being quickly deployed as a minimum viable product (MVP). Facilitated by extensive engagement with users, this was then refined into the solution it is today, through many, fast, simple iterations. They took a fresh look at business processes such as account management, contact management, opportunity management, products and services, and even cost recovery (revenue) management. In those first four months, Dynamics was configured and aligned around those freshly-envisioned processes, and was used by more than 50 staff working across DTS and a handful of other service teams in Scottish Government.

We’re still working with the DTS team as they build the business case now to extend the use of Dynamics 365 more extensively across the Scottish Government.

Platform-based approach

The success of this project chimes with the intentions of the new Digital Strategy for Scotland. DTS had an absolute focus on using the cloud as a platform for service innovation and reducing costs. They trusted this platform-based business model to improve service delivery, and were bold enough to recognise its potential to reform the structure and working practices of the service teams involved. They also saw that the solution we created with them could be extended to other public bodies – a genuine potential for common cloud technologies to be built once, and deployed as widely as possible.

Throughout the project we only ever experienced a genuine culture of partnership with DTS – working together, government department and technology partner, to deliver a successful IT project. We believe this is a powerful and effective model for all government departments to adopt in their future engagements with technology companies.

I would encourage you to read the Digital Strategy and try to look past the clichés. Download the Digital Strategy for Scotland (PDF, 1.2MB)

CompanyNet is proud to deliver solutions that are helping shape better public sector services. Visit our success stories section to discover some of the great work we are doing.

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