Feeds

Microsoft canvasses opinion on eGov services

Bit like Marmite, really

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.