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Riverbed Announce Findings of Recent Public Sector Digital Experience Survey

Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, announced the results of a recent study revealing that the British public want to have more digital access to and interaction with public sector bodies. 70% of respondents would like to engage with public sector services through digital means, however, opinion is split as to whether public services can deliver these new experiences, with 45% believing that expectations regarding the delivery of current digital services are not being met today. The survey, commissioned by Riverbed, also found that these days, citizens are happy to use tablet devices to check in for appointments or use social media to contact their MP, with a quarter even open to futuristic services such as driverless ambulances, drones delivering passports and robots assisting in operations.

John Street, Regional Director, Government and Defence, UK & Ireland at Riverbed Technology, said: “The UK public are open to new digital services, with some going beyond the realms of what is available today to reveal the types of services that they deem possible for the future. Perception of digital public services is already pervasive in people’s lives and as such, expectations for a great experience is high.

“People are happy to pay their council tax online, use biometrics as valid ID at Border Control and use tablet devices to check in for an appointment at the doctors. These are all currently being tested or deployed across the nation. While experiences are being somewhat met, UK citizens want more. And it is up to government to meet and exceed these expectations by delivering services that are efficient, readily available and interactive.”

The study, Government 2.0: A Riverbed Survey on the Public Sector Digital Experience, also found that over 70% would be happy to interact with different public sector departments via one portal should the government consider creating an online citizen account. Irritations and discontentment however come when and if these experiences prove cumbersome, time consuming and slow to respond.

Citizens’ penchant for instant communication and streamlined information access is underpinning their digital experience across different sectors which public sector organisations need to consider. Almost two-thirds of citizens find the amount of information they have to provide ‘off-putting’ when engaging digitally with public sector organisations. Results even suggest some would favour convenience over data privacy with 57% of respondents calling for a greater sharing of personal information between public sector departments to avoid repeated form filling.

John Street continued: “Despite continued reports and reservations about sharing sensitive data, people would like to, and will communicate and engage digitally. But only if the public sector raises its game to offer a digital experience that balances service, performance and security.

“Digital goals across different public sector departments have always been geared towards delivering integrated services that are trusted, secure and easy to use. The findings reflect these priorities which show the public sector is moving in the right direction.

Read the full and official press release from Riverbed here.

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