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    Is the Public Sector meeting the demand to collaborate more?

    on 27 February 2015

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    Posted by Jacqui Hogan

    Public sector collaboration software

    Have you noticed that across many parts of the Public Sector there is a growing drive for a more collaborative approach to working?

    Perhaps this is because, these days, the working environment requires democratic discussion with a wide variety of both internal and external groups. There is a growing need for wide consultation before making decisions and creating policies. Governance and accountability also dictate the need for large committees and working group involvement in a wide range of decision-making.

    “It is hard to think of a time since the Second World War when the challenges for leaders in the public sector have been greater. It will require new skills and new ways of working to meet the expectations of politicians and the public.” Sir Bob Kerslake (permanent secretary of the DCLG and former Head of the Civil Service, 'The Future Public Servant - Leading Collaboration in Public Services’)

    Why is the demand for collaboration increasing?

    "In the future Public Service has to be different – we can’t lift and shift solutions, we have to develop to them in a locality. The future is about giving up sovereignty and working across boundaries to deliver what is best for local communities. It’s about managers who can create whole system solutions and it’s about a relentless focus on our customers and making the most of every pound we spend." Deborah Cadman, OBE (Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council, 'The Future Public Servant - Leading Collaboration in Public Services’)

    Boundaries between Public Sector organisations are becoming more permeable, as the need for more integrated and faster decision-making grows with the demand for greater public accountability.

    Delivery of services and projects increasingly involve community, voluntary and small private sector organisations. Many of these involve consortiums of organisations working together, often in different geographic locations. This creates a challenge for all parties, as they need to work together in a complex web of governance and accountability.

    Challenges facing government departments

    Government too faces an increasing need to manage their data and collaborate across and outside of their departmental boundaries.

    The world is changing, and change means learning new skills and new ways of working.

    In the past, Government Departments have been able to maintain the security of their data by containing it within their departmental boundaries. As collaboration increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to do this without complex and onerous process and procedures. These are some of the challenges:

    1. The sphere of operations is now well outside the boundaries of a single department or body making it paramount to be able to work securely with a wide variety of organisations. This has created the need for solutions that are widely acceptable, rather than imposing an internal system.

    2. The massive amount of information now being exchanged makes it essential to have a secure, reliable and intuitive means to manage it, if you are to avoid information overload.

    3. Increased use of ‘personal’ devices by workers both inside and outside the workplace. Whether we like it or not, people will want to use the technology they are already familiar with. While these often increase productivity, they make it harder to find a universal technology solution that fits with internal information usage policies.

    4. Distrust of technology not directly under a departments control. Moving data to the ‘cloud’ can feel like a big step. Will it be secure? Will I be able to find what I need when I need it? Can I trust people outside my department to use it properly? Being able to trust how the technology works is crucial.

    What is the best solution?

    These increasingly complex collaborations require greater time and resources, for which technological solutions, especially cloud based services, are bridging the gap.

    The introduction of collaborative technology solutions has helped to streamline the processes, saving time and resources. For example, tools such as Microsoft SharePoint are widely used to support internal collaboration. However, these can become a major technical challenge when working across the organisational boundaries with external groups, as differing local technologies can make it difficult to implement securely.

    The G Cloud Framework

    The G Cloud Framework was introduced to make it easier for Public Sector bodies to review and select from a range of suitable technology service solutions, and to encourage departments to adopt more cloud-based services. G Cloud shortens the procurement process by eliminating the need to go through a full tender.

    How can we help?

    Glasscubes are registered on the G Cloud and are approved for the SAAS categories for Collaboration and Project Management. Click here for more information.

    Your data is stored in our ISO27001 certified data centre, based in the heart of London’s financial district. With over 20 data centres across Europe, the London facility is the data centre of choice for trading exchanges and financial platforms, having the highest power uptime reputation in London. All of your data is backed up instantly and access to our service uses a 2048 bit encryption to ensure the transfer of data is secure between you and our servers.

    Glasscubes is a highly cost effective web-based collaboration tool for businesses. Find out more about how it could save you time and save money by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310.