Now that the Government’s ‘digital by default’ strategy is in full swing, it’s inspiring public sector organisations to discover new ways of working. Until recently, public sector IT systems were in-house systems created to help staff perform specific tasks. But with the new emphasis on moving to less expensive, agile Cloud software, organisations now have much more scope to experiment and innovate.
Take as an example the G-Cloud CloudStore. This directory of approved Cloud software is available to all 29,000+ UK public sector organisations. Not only can you select and procure software for existing well-defined needs, you can also find and investigate innovative solutions and just ‘give it a go’.
Many of these cloud services, including our online collaboration software Kahootz, offer free trials. This means it costs nothing more than time to experiment with new software and – potentially – transform your working practices for the better.
You can #giveitago too – and discover these new ways of working.
1. Work across boundaries
Start using Cloud software and organisational and geographical boundaries quickly dissolve.
When you are reliant on software systems hosted on your own premises, it is nigh on impossible to grant third parties access – the security risk is usually too great, IT departments discourage it and firewall controls prevent it.
This makes sharing and collaborating difficult. You become almost wholly reliant on email.
Cloud collaboration software like Kahootz is a game changer in this respect. Because it’s hosted on external, secure servers, you can easily grant access to anyone inside or outside of your organisation.
Doing so opens up a whole range of capabilities and functions from secure business file sharing and online project management, right through to discussion forums and document co-authoring. In an instant you can share a common repository of information with colleagues based at any location, and you can quickly add external stakeholders as and when you need to.
Collaboration with anyone, anywhere suddenly becomes an instant, inexpensive reality – and the power this has to transform the way you work is immense.
#giveitago – access your free trial collaboration site today.
2. Flexible working patterns
When you can access software from any location or on the move, it revolutionises your working patterns.
Because colleagues can use Cloud software like Kahootz wherever they have an Internet connection – whether at their home PC, or when using a mobile device while travelling –introducing more flexible working patterns becomes a no-brainer.
In the medium to long term, this can see you introduce a greater proportion of hot desks at your offices, and even save money by cutting down on the office space you require. The Cloud takes essential business applications to your teams, rather than individuals having to access those systems from your office.
#giveitago – collaborate with colleagues from any location.
3. Extend areas of existing work
Because it’s simple and safe to give third parties access to Kahootz (it’s security is pan-government accredited to Impact Level 2) – and to ensure individuals access only the information they need – you can quickly digitise more areas of your work.
For example, if you conduct consultations or spend time on stakeholder engagement, you no longer have to rely solely on traditional methods like paper surveys, face-to-face meetings, local press adverts and similar. Instead you can invite stakeholders into your online Kahootz workspaces to share information, give their views on draft policies, respond to proposals and more.
Working in this way not only supplements your traditional stakeholder engagement and consultation work, but it also allows you to involve and engage more often. It costs little, so you can get stakeholder input more frequently, and on a wider range of projects — especially in the initial planning stages.
#giveitago – communicate with stakeholders
4. Match software to tasks, as and when you need it
Cloud software like Kahootz doesn’t lock you into lengthy contracts – you just pay as you go on a per-user basis. You can also access the software immediately, meaning there’s no lengthy set-up process or additional costs involved.
This makes getting into Kahootz cheap and flexible, allowing you to deploy it in any context with a few clicks of your mouse. This is a far cry from the days when you had to undergo lengthy procurement and installation processes for every new software package.
Once you’re in Kahootz, your working practices can quickly become much more agile. For example, imagine you need software for a particular task such as file sharing, digital meeting rooms, online collaboration or website surveys. You no longer need to source separate, in-house solutions – you just get into Kahootz, set up a workspace, invite people to join and start working with just the functions you need.
And if you only need to use the software for a short term project, you can export the data when you’ve finished and cancel your subscription.
This approach makes your budgets stretch much further, and changes working practices dramatically – colleagues simply use software for as long as they need it, and have the freedom to use a range of solutions for different tasks.
#giveitago – get in Kahootz and set up a workspace
5. Use software to innovate
Cloud software transforms your working practices because it gives you the tools and flexibility to innovate.
Traditionally, IT departments are reluctant to allow staff to install software for new or speculative purposes. And because it is next to impossible to give third parties access to software hosted on your own servers, the scope for innovation is narrowed still further.
With Cloud software like Kahootz, you have much more freedom to innovate, such as when you are pursuing a shared services strategy. For example, Havant District Council decided to get in Kahootz because it was introducing a new, shared management team with East Hampshire District Council. The team wanted to use a secure online workspace to share and comment on documents, and to track progress against goals.
As the software became available to more members of staff, they began to innovate. It was subsequently used to bring collaboration to a Coastal Partnership of four local authorities, as well as for creating a one-stop shop for planning-related matters – led by Havant’s planning policy team.
#giveitago – experiment with a Kahootz trial free of charge
Did your organisation already #giveitago ?
In support of the Government’s ‘digital by default’ agenda, we would also like hear from anybody who has already decided to ‘give it a go.’ Share your experiences, discuss ideas and discover new ways of working and let us know what we can do to support you.