The heightened pressure on IT budgets within the public service sector is set to have a profound effect on the way government departments and local councils communicate with constituents in 2013, according to NSC Group managing director, Trevor Boal.
He was speaking at the FutureGov West Australian Summit. Boal said a major issue over 2013 will be the increased pressure on all public sector bodies to maximise their communication infrastructures in the face of diminished budgets.
"While many public sector bodies may be under pressure to reduce costs in their IT functions, simply overhauling an entire telephony structure may not be the most productive move.
"Understanding how to maximise the current infrastructure to maintain or improve response times, while simultaneously keeping a cap on costs, will be vital for all public sector bodies this year," he said. He claimed a key theme in 2013 will be the integration of cost effective unified communications solutions into existing telephony structures. According to Boal, making the most of existing structures will be paramount this year.
"Departments and councils need to ensure the right combination of people, processes and technology is in place in order to maximise response times and deliver context sensitive customer care," he said.
Boal highlighted that a cost effective way to improve productivity and performance is through the bridging of telephony and back-office systems.
"Not only does this allow for the simple leveraging of real-time and historical information in external communications, it can also help improve workforce optimisation within the department."
He also suggested utilising consulting services to better optimise an existing workforce, as tighter budgets are forcing many departments to place a heightened importance on improving operational efficiencies. Boal recommended businesses should consider how to best utilise staff, not only through improved scheduling, forecasting and training processes, but through the implementation of anywhere access technologies.
"With Australia quickly becoming the home of mobility, working from outside the traditional 'office' has never been so accessible, and utilising this can greatly improve the productivity of any council or agency," Boal added.