Digital government - Discover the freedom of Low-code

Digital government transformation sounds impressive. You take static, unwieldy ways of working and delivering services and effortlessly transform them into smart and efficient digital applications. Simple right? On paper, perhaps. In practice, the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ approach takes patience and persistence. Trying to smooth every bump in your council’s service delivery could have your IT team backed up for months!

It also needs leadership. Who’s directing this ship? Where are we headed? Someone, or some department, needs to stick their neck out and set the path towards modernisation. Collaboration between IT and departments – and citizens – is vital to creating new digital services. Transformation visionaries and techies need to be able to lead from the front and have the tools to enables their teams to make a difference. Easy said, but when your regular workload is stacking up, not so easily done.

Getting internal buy-in is one thing, but creating services that citizens actually want to use is an entirely separate challenge. Citizens don’t behave like they used to. Hold? Queue? No chance! ‘We want it and we want it now’. Just like the apps they use on their phone.

How can public sector leaders deliver on expectations, inside and outside of the organisation? Enter MATS Low-code

Low-code for local government

MATS is an essential part of every transformation leader’s toolkit for digital gov. Think of a digital product, service or process and Low-code gives you the freedom to prototype, launch and refine it quickly and easily. And it helps IT too. It reduces the burden on your IT team and establishes long-term cost savings. All within a controlled environment for governance and compliance.

More agility, less risk. It’s that simple.

With this in mind, we put our heads together to identify five top tips as to why we think Low-code is right for your Council.

Select the best digital government platform for you

1. Supplier trust not vendor reliance

Choose a partner with a solid business model as well as the support and skills to ensure your success. Low-code is PaaS (Platform as a Service) and that’s an important point. This means you’re not actually reliant on your “chosen” vendor for everything. You have control over what digital services your council offers. We like to think of it as “in-sourcing”.

2. Function over experience

Councils should look to drive the solutions they need, maintaining IT governance, control and quality across all in-house application development. There’s no disputing that Low-code is fast, much faster than traditional development. Digital government is not simply buying off the shelf software and making it fit. But what’s the point of digitising a [bad] process? Councils should be empowered to take their own business experience and digitise the services they want, when they want it. With Low-code you can do just that. You design and then create a citizen-centric user experience, with total control over the whole end-to-end process. Then as feedback or regulations suggest best, go back and tweak it again and again as requirements change over time. It’s future proof.

3. Value for money

Fast ROI is important – but how do you find increasing returns as you scale in numbers of apps and users? Many of our customers have turned to Low-code, because they want to do things differently and they know it is faster and cheaper, now and in the future. Often they’ve struggled to hire talent in-house, or have outsourced and development costs have skyrocketed. Going Low-code doesn’t inhibit a council from building more apps and digitising more services because of cost or lack of talent. It delivers on the promise of build once, use many. Pricing typically includes standard hosting and public sector frameworks like G-Cloud ensure transparency on pricing upfront.

4. Collaboration

A good Low-code platform supports both business and professional developers. Building a library of custom code with centralised technical control over for example, user access, security and integration and version management helps professional developers accelerate delivery.

Another progressive feature of Low-code platforms is the valuable (and inclusive) communities vendors are able to support and foster around their tech.

Everyone benefits. Collaboration drives best practice sharing and reduces build time for all.

5. Sharing is caring

Whilst on the subject of collaboration, this extends outside of the Council. A Low-code platform allows Councils to share common digital services – commodity services – missed bins etc.

By leveraging Low-code, Councils can re-use or share standardised or highly defined processes or applications that already exist as a cloud-based digital service. For example to support meeting Local Government Digital Service Standard. Not only does this free time, resource and money to focus on more complex, high-impact services such as Health and Social Care, it accelerates transformation across commodity and complex issue services. This starts to make a real difference to the lives of citizens. As well as, of course, reduce dev costs and all the usual ROI stuff.

Low-code provides a faster, easier way for organisations to adopt new technologies (AI, Robotics, Blockchain etc.). Crucially, it provides a way (probably the only way) for the public sector to future-proof itself.

It’s not for everyone. But if you are looking to leave a legacy and change how you work – MATS Low-code might just be the right step forward in Local Gov. As they say you’ll never know your limits unless you push yourself to them.

Drive digital government transformation forward in your council, find out more.