UK falling behind Europe in going digital

The UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to introducing digital government services, new research has claimed.

A report from consulting firm Capgemeini has ranked the UK behind the likes of France, Germany, Italy and Spain when it comes to the success of digitising so-called 'eGovernment' services.

Ranking the countries in terms of their online and digital efforts, including introducing new tools and upgrading older ones, the report found that UK falls around the European average in terms of digitising its services, with an overall digitisation score of 59 per cent. 

Capgemini noted that the key challenge for the UK is to increase the availability of tools such as electronic identification and authentication sources, which have already become established in other markets, as the UK’s score for such key enablers is a mere 22 per cent, compared to the 52 per cent EU average.

However it was not all bad news, as the report noted that the UK has made progress in improving its transparency of personal data (being measured at 70 per cent compared to EU average of 53 per cent), however transparency of service delivery is only 41 per cent, below the EU average of 50 per cent.

“The UK is undoubtedly a leader in terms of digital innovation and the design of user-centric services, so it might seem surprising that this year’s eGov Benchmark shows it slightly falling behind the group of the biggest European economies (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) in terms of digitising its services," said Niels Van Der Linden, principal consultant at Capgemini Consulting and lead for the eGov benchmark.

“The UK has developed a number of very smart digital initiatives, and is now working hard to implement these solutions across its entire public sector. The challenge for the UK in climbing up the ranks is to increase the availability of key enablers such as electronic identification and authentication sources, where other countries have already made steps forward.”