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Starting to think about digital capability

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Capability

BIS published it’s Digital Strategy in December setting out how it will redesign its services around the needs of users in order to be digital-by-default. Online services so good that those who can get online, choose to use them.

One of the key commitments in the strategy is to assess the digital demand (scale and complexity) and capability across BIS and partner organisations. A challenging commitment given the number and type of different services we deliver and the varied nature of BIS partner organisations, but one we feel is essential and which will underpin all the other actions in the strategy.

To successfully re-design our information, transactions and digital engagement around the needs of businesses, students, employees and consumers, we need to understand the current demand on our services and the capability of our people, in order that we can provide the right support, training and leadership to build the capability and skills we need to meet future demands.

We've been working with GDS and others to develop a framework for assessing digital demand and capability. This included a workshop with a selection of partner organisations providing their input and feedback on proposals and this week a questionnaire was issued to digital contacts across BIS and partner organisations.

The questionnaire is split into six sections and asks questions about:

  • current and future business activity
  • organisational structure
  • culture and barriers
  • digital and technical skills and capabilities

The questionnaire tries to reflect the views and concerns expressed at the workshop. These included:

  • more buy-in from senior managers is required, to prioritise and fund improvements
  • concerns were raised about the subjectivity of organisations assessing their own capabilities
  • where digital 'lives' in an organisation was cited as a potential barrier
  • the focus and weighting of digital activity in organisations varies greatly, from those running transactions, to others with a significant marketing agenda

We'll be gathering the responses in the next week or so, to run some analysis. This will also include discussing some responses with partners to test their ideas and clarify any issues. Based on these findings and discussions, recommendations will be made to the BIS Operations Committee on how we can ensure that we have the necessary skills, resources and capabilities within BIS and partner organisations to become truly digital-by-default.

We’ll keep you posted on this and other activity. If there is any thing specific you’d like an update on, leave a comment below. GDS have also published a quarterly update summarising all departments' progress on delivering their digital strategy.

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