"The culture we are seeking to instil is one where the need for constant change, improvement and regeneration is embraced not just by every leader but by every member of the civil service who takes pride in the job they do for Britain."
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service
Published in October last year, the Civil Service Reform progress report offered an update on the government's ambition to change the civil service. The goal established by the Civil Service Reform Plan in 2012 was to create a smaller, more efficient, more skilled, more open and less bureaucratic organisation.
According to Sir Jeremy Heywood and Francis Maude, real progress has been made towards achieving this objective. As well as the billions of pounds in efficiency savings that have been achieved, the Functional Leadership programme has helped to address capability gaps in areas such as contract management and project management, while the drive to improve digital services for the public is gaining momentum.
Of course, the approaching general election in May adds an element of uncertainty to the picture. A new government, if one is elected, may well bring with it new plans for the future of the civil service. However, we believe that forward-thinking civil servants will continue to innovate and embrace change well into the next parliament. And cloud collaboration is one of the tools that will enable them to do so.
In December 2013, Paul Garner of BT's technology, service and operations division published a blog post entitled 12 innovation wishes of a civil servant. This is our own updated (and condensed) version of that post, with an outline of why we believe cloud collaboration software plays a key role in public sector innovation - now and in the future.
I want to stay connected.
Cloud collaboration keeps civil servants in touch with colleagues and in the loop with projects, wherever they are. Kahootz is built to support mobile and remote working not through an app (which can limit functionality), but through a responsive platform which is designed for use across computer, tablet and smartphone devices.
I want to collaborate with everyone.
Extending the reach of a project beyond the confines of your office or department is easy with collaboration in the cloud. Closer working between different areas of the civil service is vital for achieving the goals of greater efficiency and transparency. With Kahootz, you can collaborate with every team member and stakeholder - all they need is a web browser and an internet connection.
I only want to write this once.
Dealing with multiple versions of the same document is a headache in any work environment. In the public sector, where various legacy systems and new platforms are in use across departmental boundaries, it can be a nightmare for administrators. However, the cloud means you can say goodbye to outdated versions of documents languishing on desks, on local servers and in email accounts.
I want to communicate effectively.
With cloud collaboration software, online workspaces can be configured to meet your needs. Whether you need to support a procurement exercise, consult with stakeholders or manage a project, the platform provides the flexibility you need to communicate in the most effective way.
I want to know my data is secure.
Through the G-Cloud, public sector users have access to cloud collaboration solutions that meet the most stringent security standards. With servers housed in a highly secure UK data centre, the Kahootz collaboration platform has been independently tested to the satisfaction of government departments.
I want my tools to be accessible to everyone.
Of course, any system used in the public sector must ensure a high level of accessibility. At Kahootz, our collaboration platform is tested to meet international accessibility standards and fully compliant with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. The software does not use plugins, which means no accessibility problems caused by third-party add-ons.