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Local PA’s: what are the main obstacles to be overcome for the new ICT tools?

The digital revolution is held back because of cut-down budgets and lack of qualified staff

Ranging from automating Council activities through to electronic voting, passing along e-government services, even local governments are attempting to seize the enormous opportunities offered by new media for the purpose of ensuring efficiency, transparency and speed.

The spending review and the necessity to restore budgets are, in fact, creating a greater urge involving more and more local bodies to rely on new ICT tools to exploit their ability to cut down costs and speed up PA activities.

However it is not always an easy target to be reached above all when faced with cut down budgets and complicated bureaucratic procedures.

What are the main obstacles to be overcome in digitising local bodies?

Administrative simplicity resulting from the use of the web as well as digital technologies are by now essential prerequisites when reorganizing local Public Administrations.

Even if introducing technology is more and more frequent, according to the Assinform report that sustains using ICT in PA's, the two main obstacles met by local bodies along the path of digitising main be seen below:

  1. Lack of financial resources. 67% of the local bodies give up using new ICT tools because of their budgets are restricted.
  2. Lack of qualified professional staff having expertise in the ICT sector which creates a problem involving over 60% of the bodies

However, despite the difficulties met over the last three years,a considerable increase may be seen in the use of specific digital tools by local PA's among which:

  • e-procurement such as the MePA whose use has grown from 30.3% to 79.5%
  • e-learning (from 12.3% to 34.5%)
  • cloud computing services (from 10.5% to 25.7%)

Cloud software and mobile applications are particularly opening the way to major advancements in the field of automating PA activities.

Considering the current scenario, it is therefore mandatory that local administrations should be equipped to manage the enormous changes brought about by the digital revolution in the making.

Eurel Informatica S.p.A. as well will continue to invest in new digital tools, being well aware that the future of the PA will require not only an innovative regulatory framework as regards privacy and data security, but also a technical and experimental contribution towards ICT players.

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