Feeds

Microsoft canvasses opinion on eGov services

Bit like Marmite, really

The essential guide to IT transformation

Almost one person in 10 thinks council services available online are "old fashioned" and "inefficient", according to a new survey. The latter we've no particular quibble with, but surely online services can't already be "old fashioned"?

This statistic is just one of many that will surely follow as we head into the August silly season, the time of year when news dries up because Parliament closes, and technology companies traditionally like to publish myriad surveys.

It comes from Microsoft's public sector department who asked, via the pollsters at MORI, 1,000 people what they thought of the services their council had made available online.

The headline stat for them is that 37 per cent of citizens rate online services as "efficient" and "modern", on a par with the private sector. Combined with the seven per cent who think online is sooo yesterday, this means 44 per cent of us either love or hate interacting with our local authorities through the wibbly wobbly web.

But 64 per cent of those surveyed said they'd never used online council services, suggesting that some people (eight per cent) are a little confused.

More must be done to educate users, Microsoft says, to make them aware of the services that are available to them. And as 39 per cent of those surveyed said they rarely had access to the internet, something also has to be done to sort out the old digital divide.

It is certainly true that while many councils have got their acts together in terms of providing access, citizen take up is still relatively low.

"Improving take is the next big challenge," says Paul Bettison, e-government champion at the Local Government Association.

There is huge potential for working smarter and raising awareness of what's available, he says: "We need to continue to encourage people to use the services on offer and get some real momentum going among local citizens."

Microsoft UK public sector boss Terry Smith said increasing access to, and use of online public services would go "a long way to help transform the public sector to provide modern and efficient services to the community".

Businesses and public sector must work together to make this happen, he added, both in terms of technology provision, but also by increasing Joe Public's level of knowledge about such things. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.