Richard Hanrahan, Agilisys Guernsey CEO, discusses the importance of leadership and culture in enabling change and transforming public services.
From being incorporated and announced preferred bidder, to signing on the dotted line and commencing service delivery of our 10-year Partnership with the States of Guernsey, 2019 was a big year for Agilisys Guernsey.
Since then, we’ve welcomed over 50 new colleagues from the States into the Agilisys family, transitioned existing IT services to Agilisys, migrated the service desk to our shared service in Manchester, and helped the States launch their latest digital services - the GP trial of digital medical certificates in December 2019 and improved digital corporate reporting for Revenue Services in January. The medical certificates service has seen processing time reduce from c.10 days to less than 24 hours, a service improvement that makes a real difference to service users.
In addition, we have commenced the joint planning and delivery of agreed Economic Development investment, designed to complement existing island services and enhance access to scale up support and skills development.
So what’s next?
Infrastructure modernisation has never been more critical than in this digital era. Technology has unlocked innovation and efficiency on a previously unimaginable scale. Services can now be redesigned to take advantage of the technological advances that exist.
It’s no secret that today’s public sector is faced with many challenges: shifting demographics, increasing costs and new demands on the public purse. Expectations are rising, and people want to transact with the public sector easily, quickly and at a time of their choosing.
Huge advances in areas such as Cloud computing, Data science, Robotics, Artificial and Augmented intelligence and maturing applications such as Microsoft’s Office 365 offer unprecedented opportunity. Automation is just one way in which public sector workers are freed from thousands of hours of routine tasks to instead dedicate time to valuable, mission-critical work and better serve the community.
But simply embracing new technologies is not enough. Technology makes possible the previously impossible, but it is not the panacea to all our ills.
It is people that make the public sector work. It is people that care about services and service users. Our job is to provide technology to enable change, provide education as to what that technology enables, provide space for innovation, and finally to enable the public servants we work alongside to thoughtfully harness that technology to redesign services in ways previously not possible.
We cannot underestimate the importance of people and culture on this journey. Transformation success hinges upon the engagement of an organisation’s workforce. Employees must be given the correct resources and tools to do their jobs, and leaders must enable change by encouraging efficient practices, rewarding innovative behaviour and fostering confidence and independence.
Leadership in this digital age is about anticipating and responding to the changing pressure of an uncertain world. Leadership requires looking to the needs of the wider community and delivering the best value for money possible.
Guernsey is faced with a unique set of challenges, in addition to those that beset all governments at both local and national levels. This makes our 10-year partnership all the more important.
We have a unique opportunity to work together to help create the best public services of any small jurisdiction in the world.
Richard has real clarity and insight into the challenges our customers are facing. He has been working in Guernsey for 3 years and is driven by a passion for designing programmes that deliver long-term transformation and improved public services for whole communities. You can contact Richard on Twitter.