The journey to government’s digital transformation

A global view

Following our recent UK report ‘The ascent of digital’ this global research-based report explores public sector digital transformation across the world.


Overwhelmingly, we found that digital technologies are having a major impact on government: Three-fourths of the respondents told us that digital technologies are disrupting the public sector; nearly all (96 percent) characterised the impact on their domain as significant.

Truly transforming government through the power of digital technologies will be a journey. This report provides an insight into that journey and the characteristics which determine a digitally mature organisation, allowing you to map your current position and focus on the operational aspects which will drive your transformation.

Our research suggests there is a common set of issues and barriers. In this section we explore some of the challenges that the UK public sector faces, in comparison to governments across the globe. Importantly the report provides some valuable advice on addressing these barriers, based on experience from across the public sector.

The journey

Characteristics of a digitally maturing government
Truly transforming government through the power of digital technologies will be a journey. We mapped this journey using our model for digital maturity. Digital maturity measures the extent to which digital technologies have transformed an organisation’s processes, talent engagement, and service models. We estimated the level of maturity based on responses to under three categories—people, processes, and preparedness. We then classified organisations into three categories: “early” (26%), “developing” (60%) and “maturing” (13%).

We found:

  • Digitally maturing organisations have a clear strategy aimed at fundamental transformation
  • Digitally savvy leadership is a game changer
  • Digitally maturing organisations have greater user focus
  • Workforce skills and culture are deeply embedded
  • Procurement processes are muzzled by regulations and lack of flexibility

Do you recognise where your organisation is on this journey?

Differences between UK and global findings

Cost and budget pressures
Cost and budget pressures are identified as the top driver for digital transformation in the UK, compared to ‘citizen demand’ which takes top position across the other regions surveyed.

Workforce and skills
UK organisations see their employees and leaders as the least prepared in terms of skills. Our report reveals Malta and New Zealand ranked highest in this area.

Less than one-fifth of public sector organisations are satisfied with their vendors, making the UK one place above the least satisfied country. In comparison globally over a quarter of organisations are satisfied with vendors.

Maturity levels
Just 7 percent of UK agencies were identified at a maturing level in comparison to 13 percent globally.

Five key questions public leaders need to consider

  1. Do we have a clear and coherent digital strategy which addresses the key elements of digital transformation?
  2. Have we looked at our talent pool and planned where our skills will come from?
  3. What have we done to strengthen the innovative and collaborative culture of our organisation?
  4. How can citizens and service users be part of our digital transformation?
  5. Are the existing procurement processes in our organisation suitable to procure digital solutions?

At a glance facts and figures

Deloitte surveyed more than 1,200 government officials from over 70 countries on digital transformation and interviewed another 140 government leaders and outside experts.

We published the UK results in our earlier publication The Ascent of Digital.


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