These days, holding the purse strings for even the smallest public sector budget means you’re performing a delicate balancing act. With senior managers or politicians breathing down your neck to demand major cost savings, you’re also under pressure to deliver more for less.
Squaring this circle can sometimes seem hopeless, but it’s far from impossible. The key is to look beyond the simple demands of ‘austerity’ and start rethinking the way your department works.
This is a major theme of the Government’s Digital Strategy. In this document, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, points out that the use of digital public services lags far behind that of the private sector. Why, he asks, if 74% of people use the web to buy car insurance, do only 51% of people renew their car tax online?
By changing this culture, major savings are up for grabs. As Maude says:
Government has got to do better. The Digital Efficiency Report suggests that transactions online can already be 20 times cheaper than by phone, 30 times cheaper than postal and as much as 50 times cheaper than face-to-face.
By going digital by default, the government could save between £1.7 and £1.8 billion each year.
These savings aren’t achieved by simply encouraging the public to use online services – they are yours for the taking if you lead colleagues to adopt digital ways of working.
In this respect, one of the most recent success stories has been the sector’s embrace of cloud collaboration software like Kahootz. The Ministry of Justice uses it to engage internal and external stakeholders as it integrates its business and technology systems. The Department of Health relies on it to collaborate with over 20 other agencies and public bodies. The Department of Communities and Local Government finds it invaluable for project management and working with teams across the Fire & Rescue Service.
All these organisations – and many others – make significant savings by getting into Kahootz. Your department can too. These are just some of the ways cloud collaboration makes your budget go further.
1. Slashing travel costs
Traditional collaboration relies heavily on expensive face-to-face meetings, especially when you’re working with people in different geographical locations. Cloud collaboration tools give you the freedom to cut meetings to a minimum as stakeholders get online to share information, track projects and invite responses.
2. Increasing productivity
Team members can collaborate online at any time, using any internet enabled device – meaning they can be productive when on the move. And because the software has tools to manage goals and measure progress, combined with automatic update alerts, work is completed faster and more transparently.
3. Cutting staffing costs
When staff can work from any location, it gives you an opportunity to allow them to work more often from home. This not only cuts your overheads, but increases motivation among colleagues with young families or other commitments that need flexibility.
4. Developing shared services
Cloud collaboration tools make it simpler to develop shared services with partners in any location. For example, the Department of Health uses Kahootz as part of its shared service programme for ICT infrastructure and to facilitate effective team working options for its staff, arm’s length bodies and non-departmental public bodies.
5. Bringing down IT and software costs
When you have access to the functionality of cloud collaboration software, you can use it to replace a wide range of expensive, and less flexible, on-premise systems. For example, Kahootz can be deployed as project management software, to conduct surveys or polls, as an intranet or extranet, for file sharing and for committee management. This means you don’t have to pay for multiple software user licenses, expensive hardware upgrades or software updates – all of which quickly eat into your budget.
6. Lean, consumption-based pricing
Choose the right cloud collaboration software and you can make major price savings. Kahootz offers a flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, which means you only need to order the licenses you actually need. So if you have a project with exactly 157 team members, you’ll only foot the bill for those user licenses required, and not have to purchase wasteful bundles of licenses. Best of all, the per-user cost can be as low as £2.72 per user per month (for 500 licenses).
It’s certainly clear that using an online collaboration tool will save your department money – and you’ll quickly find extra savings as you use the system in new ways. Organisations across the public sector have rescued significant sums from their budgets by shifting to digital channels such as cloud collaboration, and it’s easy for you to do so too. Get your free trial today, or learn new ways of saving money by downloading our free guide Doing more with less: 8 key issues faced by public sector managers – and how to solve them.