Civil Servants are changing their attitude towards tech

Civil Servants have changed their attitude towards new technology, a new poll by techUK says, highlighting a move towards mobile as the ‘first screen’ in the working environment.

According to the poll of 1,500 Civil Servants, 84 per cent agree tech is critical to delivering their department’s business plan. For 31 per cent of those surveyed, tech is a business enabler. Last year, this number stood at 22 per cent. The attitude towards technology as an overhead (1 per cent), or a necessity (67 per cent, down from 76 per cent a year earlier) is also dropping.

Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of Civil Servants said mobile working could help them work more efficiently, up from 40 per cent a year before.

Yet, the skill gap is real – just 20 per cent believe their department has the proper skills to manage IT supplier contracts and relationships, and 14 per cent have rated this capability as good.

Having access to the right skills internally would help get more value from their department’s IT spending, 73 per cent have said.

“The last twelve months have seen a positive shift in how Civil Servants see tech and their understanding of the skills needed to. This gives us hope for the future,” says Julian David, CEO of techUK.

“However, the findings clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding of the benefits of a broad supply base and the potential for innovative technologies to revolutionise public services, putting the Government’s target to procure 33% of tech from SMEs in jeopardy. We must take a new approach to show - not tell - Civil Servants how new tech can transform both their working environment and the services they provide.”

Civil Servants, however, still do not see the benefits offered by broadening the supply base – 21 per cent agree there is appetite in their department for a higher percentage of tech services from SMEs (this has not changed since 2015).

Six per cent said they have access to a wider range of suppliers, down from 19 per cent last year, and 36 per cent said they don’t need a wider access.

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