A Look at Innovation & Technology in the Public Sector
In recent years, a variety of public sector organisations have begun exploring ways to put new technologies and their own in-house expertise to work in an effort to not only deliver useful services but to do so in a more cost-effective manner. Below we’ll look at some of the ways the public sector, particularly local councils, have embraced innovation as the key to improving their level of service.
Why is Innovation in the Public Sector Necessary?
There are several reasons why the public sector is exploring new and innovative ways to deliver services to constituents.
For one, the rapid pace of technology-driven societal change demands the public sector keep pace.
In addition, emergent digital technology presents opportunities for the public sector to reshape in a positive way how they deliver services.
And finally, public sector entities are discovering ways to develop new revenue streams that can be used to improve the level of services they offer.
5 Examples of Innovation in the Public Sector
1: Sustainable Energy
Increasing energy costs affect both the private and public sectors. To meet the challenge, some local councils are embracing solar farms as a way to offset rising energy costs and to generate revenue. The Plymouth City Council, for instance, have developed a 13MWh community-owned solar array on a former landfill site to provide power to nearly 4,000 homes.
2: More Effective Utilisation of Existing Skills
In the private sector, it is well-known that one can generate revenue by marketing their expertise. Nottinghamshire County Council have taken this idea and applied it to the public sector. They have created a commercial employment skills training service that utilises the expertise of council employees to produce social benefits and revenue.
3: Social Care Innovation
Leeds City Council have been exploring the idea of marketing social care services through the council to older residents or their children. These services may include house cleaning and providing personal care. By doing so they are able to enhance the quality of life of older residents while generating new revenue for the city.
4: Facilities Management
Commercial property management is an enormous industry that generates billions in the private sector. But private companies are not the only ones with the knowledge and experience to effectively manage properties. Local councils have been doing so for centuries. Recently, Cheshire West Council began offering commercial property management services in order to make more effective use of their in-house knowledge and to generate income.
5: The Rise of the Local Lottery
Numerous local councils have decided to leverage digital technology to create and run their own local lotteries as a way of supporting local causes and generating revenue that will enable them to improve overall council services.
Innovating for a Better Future
It was only a matter of time before local councils realised they would need to take a more proactive approach to funding and delivering essential services. That many are now finding innovative ways to leverage their in-house expertise for the common good is a development worth celebrating.
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