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The department's vision for delivering digital by default services, December 2012

Last updated: 31 December 2012


BIS Digital Strategy

1. Executive Summary

Our Digital Strategy sets out how we will redesign our information, transactions and digital engagement around the needs of businesses, students, employees and consumers. This strategy will contribute to economic growth through improved policy outcomes, easier to use services, more open policy making and greater efficiencies.

We are committed to the ambition, set out in the Government Digital Strategy, to deliver digital services that are so straightforward and convenient that those who can use them will choose to do so, and to provide assisted digital support for those who cannot. To do this we will:

  • Ensure strong leadership in BIS and partner organisations by developing our network of digital leaders and ensure there are appropriately qualified service managers in all organisations with significant transactions and other important digital services
  • Deliver an ambitious programme to re-design all major services, building on our existing projects in the Student Loans Company, Land Registry and Companies House. We will initiate exemplar projects in the Insolvency Service, Intellectual Property Office, Land Registry and National Apprenticeship Service as part of their major programmes for becoming digital organisations. These six organisations deliver 177 of 241 BIS transactional services and 94% of transaction volume.
  • Audit our capability to deliver digital services and provide the right support, training and encouragement to improve skills and confidence, including specialist training where needed. Identify best practice in digital delivery, including private sector organisations, to give a benchmark for BIS and partner organisations.
  • Create a network of service managers and other digital specialists across BIS and its partner organisations: a collective pool of expertise that can act as internal change agents, providing a constructive but challenging influence and promoting good practice.
  • Drive uptake of digital services by digitising paper-based transactions, improving user experience and raising awareness amongst customers and stakeholders.
  • Support assisted digital for those who cannot use online services, including for learners through the National Careers Service and for business through the Business Link helpline. Promote Government using existing assets for assisted digital including the Post Office network, Citizens Advice and UK Online Centres.
  • Help policy teams across the department use digital tools to listen, consult and engage stakeholders, by sharing good practice and examples of digitally-enabled open policy-making.

This is a challenging programme. BIS delivers many services to different customers through many different partner organisations. We are making progress, with three BIS partner organisations leading the way as part of the Government Digital Service’s Transformation Programme: the Student Loans Company, Land Registry and Companies House. We will learn from these – and from our four exemplar projects – to overcome the cultural, organisational and technology challenges we face. We will also ensure the strategy is implemented in a way that can outlast organisational changes within BIS and its partner organisations.

We will draw on the support of the Government Digital Service to transform services for businesses and students across government, building on the work we are already leading to make it easier for businesses to take on their first employees. By integrating services across organisations, government can transform its offer to these important customer groups.

1.1 BIS Actions

Active digital leadership
Board member Stephen Lovegrove is BIS’s digital leader, and there is an existing network of senior leaders responsible for leading on digital within BIS agencies and those arm’s length bodies with a significant digital presence. We will ensure digital leaders are equipped to fulfil the role and create links and share good practice across the network.

Empowered service managers
The Student Loans Company has recently appointed a specialist service manager. We will work with Companies House, the Insolvency Service, the Intellectual Property Office, the Land Registry, the National Apprenticeship Service and the Skills Funding Agency to support existing service managers and explore how to fill the role where they do not.

Appropriate digital capability in-house, including specialist skills
We will undertake a full audit of digital demand and capability across BIS and partner organisations. We will ensure the right resources are in place to deliver our digital transformation programmes. This is likely to be a mixed model as demand is significantly different across the many and varied BIS organisations. A central portfolio team is in place to manage the implementation of the digital strategy across the department. We will identify all service managers, digital leaders, digital specialists and others to undertake digital training provided by Cabinet Office.

Redesign services with over 100,000 transactions a year
All BIS partner organisations responsible for services with more than 100,000 transactions a year are currently redesigning, or are planning to redesign services as digital by default. The BIS exemplar services are: Insolvency Service redundancy payments, IPO Online management of IP rights, Land Registry digital service delivery and the National Apprenticeship Service.

New and redesigned services will meet the Digital by Default service standard
As part of the implementation of the digital strategy we will establish a team in BIS to ensure all digital projects meet the digital by default service standard. We will engage early with teams across the department, agencies and arm’s length bodies to provide constructive input at the right time and to quality assure before launch.

Move corporate web publishing onto GOV.UK
The BIS website went live on GOV.UK in December. We will work with BIS partner organisations to plan the migration of their websites where exemptions have not been granted. We will help partners build the necessary capability needed for transition. BIS partners will themselves fund and manage the necessary editorial work.

Drive uptake of digital services including by raising awareness
We will improve the usability of existing digital services (programmes are underway in the SLC and Companies House) to improve customer satisfaction and provide digital services where they do not currently exist (e.g. for many Insolvency Service and IPO transactions) as well as promoting digital channels to customers and stakeholders.

Adopt a cross-government approach to assisted digital
In each digital by default project – starting with the four exemplar projects identified in our strategy – we will identify what assisted digital provision is needed by users and determine the appropriate alternative channel for assisted digital delivery. We will reuse existing contracts for external assisted digital provision where appropriate. We will promote Government using existing assets for assisted digital including Post Offices, Citizens Advice and UK Online Centres.

Gather management information for transactional services
BIS partner organisations with high volume transactions have processes in place for gathering management information. We will work with GDS to refine the set of management information and extend reporting further where required. We will ensure all BIS exemplar services, and those subsequently redesigned, include automated management information reporting as part of the project requirements.

Use digital tools and techniques to engage with and consult the public
BIS will build on existing successful examples of online, open policy making so all policy teams are able to use digital tools to support their policy work. By 2013 we expect all BIS policy teams to be listening to audiences online and engaging where appropriate. We will publish case studies of good digital tools and techniques being used to improve policy making.

Further details on BIS Actions are in Annex A.

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11 Responses:

  1. December 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Do you have a PDF version?

    Most of the other Departments’ December 2012 online Digital Strategy documents offer at least one printable version

    • Tim L.
      December 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Liam – there’s a PDF version on its way. Thanks for the nudge.

  2. Andy
    January 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

    The “Download the PDF version” link at the top of the page doesn’t appear to work (it doesn’t link to any file).

    • Tim Lloyd
      January 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Andy – there was a bit of a glitch but the link should work now.

  3. Les Hodgson
    January 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    A very comprehensive and transformational approach very much built around the customers experience of government services
    Do you have any more output based target metrics of success such as customer satisfaction, percentage of transactions on-line, cost savings/productivity improvements, number of applications developed from open data, number of government services transformed to user/community self help services etc

  4. February 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I have been studying for a Diploma in Digital Marketing which I think fits in well with this. How can I become part of your network of expertise?

    • Tim Lloyd
      February 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Roland, sounds interesting. Can you drop me a line: tim dot lloyd at bis dot gsi etc.

  5. Les Hodgson
    February 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    In your BIS digital Strategy one of your key actions is to assess the Digital Capability of your organisation. Do you have a Digital Capability/Digital Maturity audit model or framework that you will use, paricularly that could benchmark digital capability with other organisations

  6. April 16, 2013 at 9:54 am


    Please can you provide an update on the Information Economy Strategy?

    Many thanks

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