How to manage the growing pressure of Public Service delivery

In a recent podcast conversation with Lisa Brooke-Taylor, Microsoft's Public Sector Solution Sales Manager, we discussed the challenges faced by senior leaders in local authorities and housing associations, and how Microsoft is working to address these challenges. 

Listen to the Podcast here

Lisa pointed out that there is a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt among local authorities and housing associations, particularly due to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing political uncertainties.

The cost-of-living crisis emerged as a top concern for local authorities and housing associations. With families and individuals struggle to make ends meet, often having to choose between basic necessities like food and heating. This crisis has significant implications for housing, as there is already a shortage of affordable housing, and the rising costs only exacerbate the problem. Furthermore, the definition of vulnerability has shifted, and it is essential for local authorities and housing associations to identify and support these new cohorts of vulnerable individuals and families.

How to manage the evolving challenges?

Managing these challenges can be overwhelming for housing associations and local authorities, as they navigate from one crisis to another. However, Lisa emphasised the importance of data in tackling these issues. By leveraging the wealth of data available about residents and tenants, organisations can gain valuable insights and proactively identify those at risk of falling into debt or crisis. Additionally, there is a need for better outreach to raise awareness among residents and tenants about available support and resources. The goal is to ensure that nobody falls through the cracks and misses out on the assistance they require.

How technology can help with service delivery

When it comes to technology adoption, Lisa acknowledged that while some organisations are making progress, there is still work to be done. She highlighted the importance of a user-friendly "front door experience" for residents accessing local authority websites. It is crucial to ensure that technology is accessible to everyone, including those with limited internet connectivity or digital skills. Greater connectivity is needed to enable people to engage more effectively with their councils and authorities.

Closing the Public Sector skills gap

The skills gap is another significant challenge, with a brain drain from the public to the private sector. Lisa explained that Microsoft offers various training opportunities through initiatives like the enterprise skills initiative and Microsoft Learn. These programs not only focus on technical skills but also provide residents and communities with the opportunity to upskill and gain digital proficiency, thereby increasing their employability. Collaboration with platforms like LinkedIn Learning also facilitates the development of softer skills, such as resume building and interview preparation.

Microsoft is investing in technology to make it more accessible and user-friendly. Tools like Power Apps and the Power Platform empower "citizen developers" who may not have extensive coding expertise to create applications. Lisa emphasised that Microsoft prioritises accessibility, enabling users to leverage these platforms and embark on their digital transformation journeys.

Helping Public Sector do their best work

Local authorities and housing associations play a crucial role in helping communities thrive. Microsoft's initiatives aim to support these organisations in adapting to changing needs and delivering value to the communities they serve. By using the resources and training provided by Microsoft, local authorities and housing associations can better address internal and external pressures, reduce the negative impact of crises, and enhance their ability to support residents and tenants effectively.

Microsoft's initiatives offer valuable resources and training opportunities to help local authorities and housing associations overcome challenges and improve their services. By embracing technology and upskilling their workforce, organisations can bridge the skills gap, provide better support to their communities, and work towards creating thriving environments for all.

Which is good for everyone, right?

Read our transcript from our Dynamics Matters Podcast Ep 94: How to manage the growing pressure of Public Service delivery:

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