Digital in Defence: The age of Iron Man technology and sci-fi becoming reality

From Star Trek’s ray guns and Princess Leia’s hologram messages to AI character HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, not to mention video calling, mobile phones, smart watches and tablets, there are numerous examples of sci-fi technologies becoming reality. Defence has long been at the forefront of digital and technological transformation – a driving force for innovation behind everything from the Internet to GPS, inspired by the imagination and ingenuity of science fiction. (more…)

How do we fix the public-private partnership?

By Asif Ghafoor, MD Investments, Amey

In last year’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced the official death of PFI. He said that the UK government would abolish the use of PFI (along with its successor PF2) for future projects, noting that “I have never signed off a PFI contract as Chancellor and I can confirm today that I never will”.

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Living wills are coming in FM – embrace them now to get ahead of the game

Until a couple of years ago, the facilities management (FM) industry appeared to be steering a fairly steady course. True, the rising maturity of the FM outsourcing market was starting to create pressure on providers’ growth and costs. But they could count on a ready supply of existing and new customers—both public and private sector—who felt they could buy their services with confidence.

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Negotiating for success in public sector negotiations

John Clements,  Management Consultant at The Gap Partnership, details the importance of  preparation and planning in the negotiation process for successful tender bids.

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Platform co-creation of public services

By Philip Craig, Government Sector Strategy Director at Sopra Steria

One of the often-quoted benefits of digital transformation is the improvement in the way departments interact with citizens and business by sharing systems and data to streamline services. But the reality often falls short of expectations.

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Trends shaping the future of the workplace

Written by Sylvia Metayer, CEO, Worldwide Corporate Services segment, Sodexo

Today is World FM Day, a chance for the FM industry to raise awareness of how we can help our clients ‘enable positive experiences’. (more…)

Universities must commercialise to thrive after Brexit

Since the increase in tuition fees in 2010, universities have had to adapt to a rapidly changing funding environment. Greater reliance on fees, which account for over two-thirds of total income at 42% of universities, has left their finances vulnerable to sudden changes in student numbers. Concerns over value for money, along with long-term spending commitments on pensions and infrastructure, also weigh heavily.

To be sustainable after Brexit, universities must prioritise the student experience whilst also finding new ways to maximise efficiencies and diversify revenue. (more…)

What’s ahead for the digital wallet?

By Rob Price, Chief Operating Officer, Worldline (Atos e-payment Services), UK and Ireland

When I drive to my local railway station, the station car park recognises my arrival through number plate recognition. I drive straight in, with digital signage telling me how many spaces are free. I walk through the station and get straight on the train. When I return, the car park transaction is quick and easy – contactless card or mobile wallet payment at the kiosk, and the exit barrier lifts as it recognises my number plate.

I like this digitalised experience because it makes things quicker and easier for me.

This is a common theme of the global digital inclusion survey we’ve just completed, which revealed how people feel about digital technologies – including how they pay for things. It’s clear that where the consumer is motivated or incentivised through personal benefit, then there is better adoption. Other than cost savings, the two benefits that stand out for consumers are time saved and improvements to their health. (more…)

Light at the end of the financial tunnel?

By Philip Craig, Government Sector Strategy Director at Sopra Steria

In March 2018 the government reached a significant economic milestone. It eliminated the deficit on its day-to-day budget. Tax revenues will exceed public spending. Public sector net debt will fall for the first time since 2001-02. It took eight years rather than five. But the primary target set by government in 2010, as the UK struggled to recover from the financial crisis, had finally been met. (more…)

AI and Digital Public Services

Often debated in terms of the ‘rise of the robots’ or ‘march of the machines’, the public discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) has largely focused on the impact it may have on the workforce. Less attention has been paid to the possibilities for transforming public services.

Appropriately delivered, AI has the potential to revolutionise how public services are delivered and, in turn, how citizens interact with government.

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BSA Event: The path to digitising healthcare

As part of a series of events and publications on digital public services, the BSA held a Digital Healthcare seminar in partnership with Associate Member Pinsent Masons LLP.  With thanks to our speakers:

  • James Hawkins, Director of Programmes, NHS Digital
  • Rachael Hunter, Health Economist, UCL
  • Matthew Godfrey-Faussett, Partner, Pinsent Masons

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Britain’s Energy Future

Last month the Business Secretary Greg Clark announced £246 million of pubic investment into battery technology. Known as the ‘Faraday Challenge’, this 4 year investment aims to update British energy generation and provide an alternative way of generating and delivering energy. The challenge aims to produce new, more efficient battery technology that will make energy easier to store.

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The workforce of the future: robots and roadmaps

Transformation is the business buzzword of this generation. Preface it with digital, leadership, cultural or service and you’ll find a slew of articles, comment pieces and case studies on how it’s been done and why everyone should try it. In reality, it boils down to change. We live, as they say, in “interesting times” and one of the striking features of this age is the pace of development.

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The Importance of Transparency

Blog by Kevin Craven, Chief Executive, UK Central Government Division, Serco

As an ex-employee of Sodexo, I was pleased but not surprised to see the launch of their Transparency Charter recently. I applaud their leadership and congratulations to them. As the CEO of Serco’s Central Government division, I am of course frustrated that they got there before us. But I suspect we will look back in a more transparent future and not worry about who got there first, because consensus is building around the need for greater transparency in the delivery of public services and the momentum seems unstoppable. There are of course those that oppose it vehemently but they are now firmly in the minority.

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