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Navigating the Roadblocks to Digital Adoption for Local Government
//30-01-2024

Navigating the Roadblocks to Digital Adoption for Local Government

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

What is Digital Adoption?

Digital adoption is not about creating a paperless office. Nor does it mean ditching your legacy infrastructure and replacing it with emerging technologies. But it does mean finding a solution that gets everyone on board. It means getting the most from whatever technologies you put into place.

In some cases, digital adoption may be a case of replacing one piece of software with another. In others, it may mean adding a module to your existing set up. When considering exactly what you need, there are a number of factors to weigh up, including cost, future readiness, and user buy-in.

A useful place to start is to carry out a basic audit of your existing software. Which technologies are no longer fit for purpose? Which solutions are not being fully utilised by senior management? Are employees getting the most from the software available to them?

 

Buy-in

A major stumbling block to digital adoption is buy-in from employees. In the recent Advanced Annual Trends survey, 34% of government professionals said lack of buy-in from employees is a major barrier when implementing new technologies. Attachment to traditional methods was cited as a barrier by 36% of government respondents.

The survey also found a perceived lack of buy-in from management. Nearly one third (30%) of local government professionals surveyed said that a lack of buy-in from leaders is a barrier to the successful implementation of new technologies.

These figures are unsurprising – resistance to change is common. New technologies are perceived as difficult to understand, disruptive, and annoying. They upset our routine, and can make our lives more difficult.

Because of this normal reaction to change, it is vital that employees are listened to pre-implementation. What is it they need to do their jobs better? Would having a centralised system for administrative tasks be preferable to multiple applications? Involving your employees in this process gives them agency over their work and prepares them for change. At the same time, CFOs and senior leaders must be open to new solutions.

 

Tech Onboarding

When onboarding new technologies, It should not be left to the employee to figure out how to use the software through online tutorials; there needs to be dedicated time set aside for training, no matter how straightforward the software is perceived to be.

Training can be carried out virtually, but should be done in a group setting where possible. This gives employees the chance to ask questions about functionality, and highlights any immediate blockers to adoption. The training should cover all aspects of the digital solution, including navigation for those with accessibility needs.

The software should be user-friendly. If the solution is overcomplicated, employees are likely to disengage. Remember: employees should be able to get the most out of the solution, so all features should be easy to use and access.

Once in place, you will need to gain feedback from your employees. This should be done within the first few weeks of adoption to help determine levels of engagement and assess the user experience. In some cases, these adoption metrics are present within the solution itself – performance management software Performance and Talent, for example, keeps track of engagement and allows for real-time feedback.

“Our previous system required the user to be registered on the council’s intranet, which added another IT workstream to the process. None of that was required with Performance and Talent, bringing down yet another barrier to adoption.”

  • Ben Plant, HR Director, Waltham Forest Council

 

Cost Savings with AVD

In an era of squeezed budgets, cost is an obvious consideration for local authorities. Software solutions must not only be cost effective in the short term, but also represent value for money in the medium to long term. This means that LAs should look towards solutions that are able to accommodate emergent and future technologies.

By taking a longer-term approach, public authorities can future-proof against technological redundancy, ensuring they are able to maintain optimised, cost-effective systems for years to come. Here, cloud-based software can offer a viable solution.

A good example of this type of software is Azure Virtual Desktop. AVD provides all the files, applications, and services of Windows, but is based in the cloud. With the exception of light usage, AVD is cheaper to run than on-premise versions of Microsoft 365.

Along with cost savings, AVD delivers familiarity to the workplace, ensuring maximum employee engagement. Entirely cloud-based, AVD is perfectly suited to hybrid and flexible working – practices that have become an expectation for those seeking employment.

 

Taking Control

Importantly, AVD is locked down by the administrator. This means that employees only have access to the applications they need, resulting in better security and lower spend. AVD works on a ‘consumption’ basis – you only pay for the resources you use.

These resources can be scaled up or down, depending on need. Users can be added or removed, and apps and security features can be deployed from a central hub. This level of control brings enhanced operational efficiency and greater visibility over spend.

In terms of adoption, AVD presents no new challenges. Employees can continue to use the applications they are already familiar with, including Microsoft 365, Teams, and Outlook. This reduces the need for additional training provision while maintaining productivity.

 

Summary

  • Digital adoption is defined by how well users engage with available technologies
  • Employees, CFOs, and senior leaders should be open to buy-in of new technologies
  • Clear training must be given
  • New software must be user-friendly
  • Feedback should be taken post-implementation
  • Local authorities should look towards solutions that are future-ready
  • Implementing AVD can cut costs, increase efficiencies, and bring high levels of adoption

Discover Advanced’s full range of solutions for local government professionals. 

If you would like to take a deeper look into what key factors have been playing a part in shaping the government sector, then download your copy of the Advanced Government Sector Trends Report here 

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