Government as a Platform readiness in the United Kingdom.

How can government pivot to platform-centric operating models? Accenture Research identified four readiness pillars for implementing Government as a Platform and examined ten governments around the world to better understand where they are in their journeys.

The global findings indicate that the United Kingdom has a high level of readiness, ranking second out of 10 countries overall.

Among public service leaders surveyed in the UK, 69 percent believe that digital ecosystems are impacting or transforming their industry, yet only 25 percent are aggressively taking steps to participate.1

The UK has taken decisive steps toward Government as a Platform in recent years. Activities show the pursuit of improving the country’s economic situation, delivering better public services and creating the right environment for business growth and innovation. The Government’s Digital Strategy 2017 suggests a new emphasis on a collaborative approach with the private and third sectors.

Readiness Index results showed:

  • The UK has a strong foundation for Government as a Platform, with an entrepreneurial-minded workforce and advanced ICT infrastructure and regulation
  • The public sector looks for new ways of collaborating within digital ecosystems to drive economic growth
  • Significant achievements in citizen-centricity and open government, recognising the strong call for transformation

Improving across pillars. To shape a next generation of public services, agencies in the UK should foster digital trust in the society, promote innovative GovTech solutions for government and shift from service provider to ecosystem moderator for public service delivery.

Accenture’s Government as a Platform Readiness Index revealed strengths along with opportunities for improvement across key pillars:

Build the foundation. A strong Government as a Platform foundation relies on workforce skills, information and communication technology infrastructure and regulation, digital savvy and trust in society. The UK benefits from an advanced ICT infrastructure and regulation compared to peers. The country’s strengths also include well-developed workforce skills and high digital usage and savviness in society compared to peers.

UK government agencies can improve to build the foundation by:

  • Emphasising practical guidance on cybersecurity and data privacy in the current public-private Partnerships for Digital Skills to increase digital trust
  • Expand tertiary education enrolment and improve STEM skills
  • Focus on equipping the future workforce with the skills needed for the fourth industrial revolution by reskilling vulnerable groups in the workforce, using digital to learn digital and fostering a mindset of “learning as a way of life”

Foster a mindset of change and innovation. Government as a Platform requires an entrepreneurial, innovation-oriented culture that displays a capacity for change. The UK ranks fifth in our sample for entrepreneurial activity and a high perception of start-ups/entrepreneurs in society. And 30 percent of surveyed public service leaders in the UK report a predominantly or fully agile workforce organisation in their agency. 2

To continue to foster an innovation mindset, the UK can:

  • Further educate society, particularly youth, about the opportunities and risks of entrepreneurship
  • Scale emerging technology and creative working methods among public service organisations across government levels
  • Invest more in innovation and use of emerging technologies

Enable economic growth. Government as a Platform plays a key role in enabling businesses to seize the opportunities of the rising platform economy. The UK has a very supportive business environment and ranks first among its peers on this pillar, particularly when it comes to availability, accessibility and impact of open government data.

UK agencies can continue to stimulate economic growth when they:

  • Reach beyond the “usual suspects” toward the startup and digital community
  • Evolve beyond regulator and adopt the role of “trusted broker” that ensures fairness and openness of economic platforms
  • Clearly communicate benefits of public-private cooperation to citizens

Innovate for public service delivery. It is critical to innovate and improve public service delivery through ecosystem collaboration with citizens, NGOs and businesses. Public services in the UK are clearly aware of digital disruption and the need to transform their business and operating models. The UK scores highest in citizen centricity and engagement, reflecting strong efforts in making public service delivery more effective and user-centric, as well as ensuring participation of citizens.

Agencies in the UK can increase innovation when they:

  • Scale “lighthouse examples” of successful transformation of public service organisations on the local/regional level
  • Extend the role of businesses and other partners in the actual delivery of public services
  • Improve data integration through APIs at scale and cross-government, enabling enhanced public service delivery

How the UK measures up

Where does the UK stand in its readiness for Government as a Platform? The UK ranks second, following Singapore, the most Government as a Platform-ready country. Countries that scored high showed strong attention and prioritisation of the characteristics within each of the four pillars. See the full rankings in the graphic below.

GaaP readiness rankings

Overall GaaP Readiness Scores: Singapore – 72.2, United Kingdom – 70.0, United States – 69.6, Australia - 67.3, France – 66.9, Norway – 66.7, United Arab Emirates – 65.7, Japan – 62.4, Germany – 62.0, Saudi Arabia – 57.4

Source: Accenture Government as a Platform Research 2018

1 Accenture Technology Vision 2017, public services data

2 Accenture Technology Vision 2017, public services data

Emma Cooper

Health & Public Service Consulting Lead – UK & Ireland

Laura Webb

UK Managing Director – Health and Public Service, Technology Consulting


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