2023 Trends: Public sector digital transformation

As 2022 draws to a close, we’re looking ahead to the next year with one specific question in mind: what does 2023 digital transformation look like? From local government, healthcare and NHS to social housing and higher education, every corner of the public sector is accelerating transformation – but what’s in store for the next 12 months? In this edition of Hot Topics, NDL experts take us through the five biggest upcoming trends you don’t want to miss.

Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) has been a key player in public sector digital transformation for the past decade, but 2023 is set to be automation’s biggest year yet. As the cost of living rises and organisations across the UK begin to feel the squeeze, the public sector is placing incredible focus on how to do more for less. Emulating human interaction with software, RPA has helped the UK public sector tackle many historical and futureproofing challenges – from mass data migration to cross-system synchronisation – without the need for all hands on deck.

With the power to provide unimaginable time savings, improved data accuracy and security, administrative relief and 24/7 processing, it’s not hard to see why RPA is at the forefront of next year’s public sector digital transformation agenda. At a time when resources are slim, and services are in high demand, automation is a surefire way to immediately boost capacity and capabilities in any organisation.

Low & no-code

Another top 2023 trend that’s been gearing up over the past few years is the use of low and no-code tools. Digital transformation in the public sector comes in many forms – from automations and workflows, to mobile apps and eForms. However, technical capabilities within these organisations have often placed a barrier between these implementations – with many digital teams unable to support code-heavy projects.

Low and no-code development negates this issue. Intuitive graphic-led drag-and-drop studios, such as those in the NDL Evolve Digital Transformation Platform, enable the creation of digitisation without the need for advanced coding capabilities. This makes transformation so much more accessible, and in the spirit of doing more with less in 2023, low code is set to expand capabilities across the public sector exponentially.

Artificial Intelligence & cognitive services

AI has been the talk of the wider tech space for a few years, though it hasn’t really broken through to the public sector – but that’s all about to change in 2023. Healthcare, NHS, local authority, housing and education sectors are increasingly adopting cognitive services – software that mimics human learning to perform tasks.

Machine learning has been a slightly daunting topic for those involved in public services, but its stability in recent times has allowed organisations to identify a wide range of use cases. From image recognition in clinical photography to decision making in benefit applications – the power of machine learning is almost limitless within public services, and sectors are taking note.

Distributed architecture

Particularly in the public sector, hybrid cloud has been all the rage throughout 2022 – but next year, distributed architecture is set to take the throne. The hype for hybrid was mostly centred around its ability to introduce organisations to the benefits of public cloud without abandoning existing infrastructure. The public sector acknowledges its need for multicloud benefits, and many have already adopted cloud and Edge environments alongside on-premises architecture. However, managing these without distributed architecture is a common struggle for Ops teams.

Distributed architecture allows you to use public, private, and community clouds together at once, as if they were one environment. A recent report by Gartner claims distributed architecture fixes what hybrid breaks – it brings environments together for a congruent, convenient, and interconnected experience. It unlocks and combines architectures, accelerating the call for platforms like NDL Evolve that can support this evolution.

End-to-end processing

Last, but certainly not least, is end-to-end digital transformation. Involving the combination of multiple technologies to support a process from start to finish, end-to-end is arguably 2023’s biggest upcoming trend. As the public sector is becoming increasingly well-versed in digital transformation – utilising technologies like eForms, apps, workflows, web services and RPA – the industry is naturally progressing towards fully integrated projects that maximise the power of each.

Luckily, end-to-end transformation has never been easier with platforms like Evolve. Designed specifically to interact, Evolve provides all of the technologies mentioned above in tandem. For example, a typical end-to-end process in public services could look something like this:

  • Digitise: Data can be captured and manipulated through eForms or mobile apps, such as online consent forms or reporting apps for council workers out in the field
  • Automate: Robotic process automation can input and synchronise information collected into back-office systems - eliminating human error, rekeying and administrative overheads
  • Connect: No-code API connections can uplift capabilities throughout processes, unlocking integration with web services such as Artificial Intelligence or external databases
  • Flow: Every separate process can be effortlessly pulled together with graphic-led storyboarding, resulting in complex workflows without advanced coding or experience

Interested in low-code end-to-end processing, RPA, web services such as AI or even applications that support distributed architecture? NDL is already prepared to propel the public sector into the next year’s trends (and beyond) with the Evolve Digital Transformation Platform. For more information, simply get in touch with a member of our team – or learn more about our capabilities at an upcoming online or in-person event. Looking for some more inspiration? Don’t forget to check out our ever-growing library of public sector success stories.