Tag Archives: Digital By Default

  • 0
Government Technology: Infrastructure, Enablement & Delivery

Government Technology

Tags : 

Infrastructure Enablement & Delivery


The Government Digital Service (GDS) – part of the Cabinet Office and the Efficiency and Reform Group – is responsible for GOV.UK, but also has the wider remit of ‘making public services simpler’. The GDS breaks down the process of designing a service into five stages, in which teams will:

  • Discovery – start to research user needs, decide what to measure, explore constraints
  • Alpha – prototype solutions, test with users, receive early feedback
  • Beta – develop in a live environment, release a test version
  • Live – iteratively improve the service, react to new needs, meet original targets
  • Retirement – exercise the same level of care as at all other stages

By working in small, multi-disciplinary, ‘agile’ teams to build the alpha version of GOV.UK in around ten weeks, the GDS led by example, and in developing the digital by default service manual it has set the benchmark for consistently high quality digital services.

Digital by Default Service Standard

The Digital by Default Service Standard is a set of 26 criteria which must be met by a service in order for it to gain the approval of a Government Digital Service assessment panel. The document is intended to inform the work of digital teams and to help managers select those people and organisations with the requisite skills to enable the service they develop to meet the standard. Number one on the list is understanding user needs, but other criteria include:

A sustainable multidisciplinary team that can design, build and operate the service, led by a suitably skilled and senior service manager with decision-making responsibility

  • Evaluate the privacy risks
  • Put appropriate assisted digital support in place
  • Put appropriate assisted digital support in place
  • Use analytics tools that collect performance data
  • Test the service from beginning to end with the minister responsible for it

Government Service Design Manual

The Digital by Default standard has been a requirement for all new or redesigned transactional government services since April 2014, and it must be maintained for the life of said services. The Government Service Design Manual is provided to help service managers and digital delivery teams fulfil those criteria set out in the Service Standard and produce high-quality services within a consistent framework.

The design manual pools guidance and resources for all of the individuals and teams involved in the process of taking a digital service from discovery to retirement, including user researchers, content designers, developers, technical architects and performance analysts. The guides available cover areas from guidance for transforming technology through design principles to tools for measuring performance.

Why Attend

Government Technology: Infrastructure, Enablement & Delivery will afford attendees the opportunity to engage with expert speakers, solution providers, and fellow delegates on the digital transformation of public services. Focusing on what it means to build services that users actively choose to use over the alternatives, we will ask how service managers and IT teams can adapt their expertise and skills to the challenges they face.


  • 0
Government ICT 2015

Government ICT

Tags : 

The 11th Annual Government ICT Conference

Since 2005 this industry leading conference has served as a crucial platform to provide exclusive insights and access  to leading policy makers which has helped contribute towards the successful development of public sector ICT.

Programme at a Glance

Government ICT 2015 will explore how we can best move from ICT initiatives which save money, to the delivery of ICT solutions that reform public services and the way that government works.

Central to the discussion will be:

  • Revolutionising IT Build, Procurement and Management for a High Quality Responsive Service
  • Becoming Digital by Default and Perfecting Digital Delivery
  • Securing Local and Central Government Networks, Data and Devices
  • G-Cloud and the Digital Marketplace: Value for Money in Public Sector Procurement
  • Connecting Public Services via £300,000 Transformation Challenge Award
  • Procuring ICT and Digital Goods and Services for Government

 Why Attend

Since 2005 this industry leading conference has served to provide exclusive insights and access to leading policy makers which has helped contribute to successful development of public sector ICT.

This year’s conference will explore how we can best move from ICT initiatives which save money, to the delivery of ICT solutions that reform public services and the way that government works.

  • Liam Maxwell will explore the governments £7 billion annual ICT spend
  • Discover how BIS are expecting to save up to £50 million through digital delivery
  • Understand how organisations, such as Bath and North East Somerset Council, are transforming public services through connectivity
  • Engage with leading organisations supplying solutions to your organisational challenges




  • 0

“eCulture” A New Mission

Tags : 

With a recent refresh of the website and refocusing of what eCulture Solutions was about I thought it was would be good to try and define succinctly a mission, for which I have arrived at…

“To facilitate the exploitation of digital innovation, supporting delivery of positive and inclusive social and business transformation.”

 The pace of technology innovation and digital inclusion is increasing at a significant rate and societies the world over, are transitioning to an digitally orientated way of life as governments and institutions adopt digital ways of engaging in preference over existing methods. Societies are entering the “eCulture” digital age .

 The measure of success in the development of eCulture, will come down to how well society manages to establish “mutually supporting communities” in a digital context.

It is early days, and so as organisations and business start out on their respective eCulture transitions I thought it would be helpful to offer some guidance on what could be key considerations.


Government, public sector and allied third party service transformation delivered by preference for engagement between service providers and users to becoming wherever possible, a digital process, is presently focused by the premise that this will deliver much needed efficiency gains and cost savings.

UK Government business case estimates presently suggest that transactions online can already be 20 times cheaper than by phone, 30 times cheaper than postal, and as much as 50 times cheaper than face-to-face.

Success however, will not be achieved with this focus alone. Efficiency gains and savings can only be realised by wide scale adoption, that in turn will only be secured by service redesign that delivers mutual benefits to service users, largely recognised by them as improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and / or quality of the service.

Digital Exclusion

Face FrownThere is however something that is fundamentally new in this evolution to eCulture status, on the basis that until now, any digital project concerning the engagement of service users, with notably these being largely commercial ventures, has qualified requirements and measures of success in business plans / profit and loss forecasts, on the basis of focusing engagement on a digitally “included” demographic.

By contrast a key distinguishing factor in the transition to the ‘eCulture’ age, is the social development focus on digital – for example job adverts and applications and critically public services, such as benefits and health and social care services, which for those that remain digitally “excluded”, the prospect of social exclusion and increasing poverty are of serious concern.

Digital exclusion is defined as: 

  1. Access – the inability to actually go online and connect
  2. Skills –  inability to use online solutions
  3. Motivation – not having a personal reason making use a good thing
  4. Trust – loss of privacy, or victim of online crime

Consequently overcoming the digital exclusion challenges is of greater concern to government, public sector and allied third party provider projects. Because the target demographic for online public services is the poor, elderly, frail and socially excluded, these representing the greatest proportion of citizens making most use of public and allied third party services, that unfortunately are also the greatest proportion that are ‘individually’ digitally excluded.

Additional Missed Business Opportunity

In the UK, recent research published by the BBC has found that 21% of UK’s population lack the basic digital skills and capabilities required to realise the benefits of the Internet.

Around a third of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) don’t have a website, and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs), a great many of which represent the allied third parties supporting public service provision, this figure rises to 50%. Independent analysts estimate full digital take up could add £63 billion value to the UK economy alone!

Digital Inclusion

GraphOf 7 billion people, around 40% of the world population has an Internet connection. In 1995, it was less than 1%. The number of Internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013. The first billion was reached in 2005, the second in 2010, the third will be reached by the end of 2014.

In 2013 in the UK, 89% of young people now use a smartphone or tablet to go online, up from 43% in 2010. At the end of 2013, global smartphone penetration had exploded from 5% of the global population in 2009, to 22%. That’s an increase of nearly 1.3 billion smartphones in four years.

Tablets are showing faster adoption rates than smartphones. It took smartphones nearly four years to reach 6% penetration from when the devices first started to register on a global level. Tablets accomplished this in just two years.

eCulture on a Mission

face-smileSo in conclusion eCulture, is to help the organisations develop their digital skills and understanding of how technology innovation can be utilised operationally to increase the benefits they are able to deliver to their service users, and in the process of engagement help organisations to reach the digitally excluded through the many digitally included. 

After all almost everybody will have a family members, carers, friends or benevolent neighbours that are digitally included……

“their digital community”

A noble quest wouldn’t you agree?

  • 0

UK GDS Identity Assurance

Tags : 

Identity and access management is one of the most challenging aspects of securing citizen, and from a National Health Service perspective patient, engagement on-line with services and information. This especially important when the engagement extends to on-line access to highly personalised information specific to individual citizens.

As the government digital service (GDS) makes progress on the digitisation of services it is pleasing to see that the team leading the development of services are engaging with experts to advice and guide on the development of key engagement protocols.

However whilst the current scope is concerned with the one to one relationship between citizens and government services, the real challenge to come for GDS identity assurance will be that of on-line engagement between citizens and healthcare service provision.

NHS Digital First

With the NHS Digital First initiative, on-line patient access to medical records, at least those hosted by the GP, are expected to be available by 2015. Other health initiatives such as the Delivery of Assisted Living and Lifestyles at Scale (DALLAS) is thinking beyond traditional health and social care, to consider how new ideas and technology can be used to improve the way people live.

From a healthcare perspective, it is widely acknowledged now that technology has significant potential to radically transform, and consequently improve the care delivery model, this especially so for the 15 million citizens in the UK presently living with one or more long-term chronic (LTC) conditions, and just as importantly the extraordinary individuals that provide care support to those suffering from LTC(s) that are typically family members and or friends.

And here is the catch, realistically the benefits to be derived from digital engagement with patients with LTC(s), encompassing tele-health, tele-care and assisted living technologies with access to medical information, will increase considerably if engagement becomes extended to the patients care circle, this largely taking the form of family and friends.

Extending Access

A patient’s personal care circle can often feature a wide number of different individuals, performing a range of different roles, for example:

A friend living close by might have a mentor role on diet and / or medication, a family member might be designated as the primary carer, and be the driver for GP and hospital appointments, another family member living further away might want access to assisted living device monitoring information and thus have an arm’s length role in care provision.

The biggest benefits subsequently and frequently argued to be so, are to derived from the provision of better support to the millions of citizens providing care, sufficient to enable them to more confidently undertake better informed interventions to head of negative escalations of a condition that can easily be avoided, and thus referral to a GP, or worse hospital.

Critically for these benefits to be realised quickly, Health and social care engagement needs to be capable of reaching the carer circle in the most appropriate way, identifying these individuals and the care roles they are undertaking is a key first step, with the capability to support citizen / patient consent to access appropriate health and social care information to their personal care circle, a vital second step.

Bigger Brief for Identity and privacy Management

Consequently, Identity and Access Management investment in solutions for the digital agenda needs to be capable of addressing more than just the requirements on the basis of a single citizen or patient. It needs to be capable of accommodating and managing information on relationships between citizens and their family / friends and from a health perspective, the roles that these additional individuals may be undertaken on behalf of the patient, and of course patient consent to access their information, to whomever they choose!

Article Link

Computer Weekly Article



Have a digital project idea you would like help with, then check out our services available from eCulture Solutions