How ICT is shaping the design and delivery of services

I am currently writing the final ICT Foresight report on how ICT is shaping the design and delivery of services. I’ve decided to start the report by talking about the characteristics (if that’s the right word) of ICT which mean that they are having an impact on services. My list so far looks something like this: ICTs...

  1. … allow a personalised experience
  2. … help to network people
  3. … generate, store and allow access to data
  4. … can support open and collaborative cultures
  5. … mechanise processes
  6. … are mobile and aware of geographic locations

From each of these flow many risks and opportunities, from the possibility of a more efficient back office, to the ability to meaningfully engage users in the design of services, from the ethics involved in how data is used and shared, to smarter services.

Here’s another list for you. I thought I might summarise some of the new (and not so new) types of services that wouldn’t have been possible without ICT, like:

  1. Call centres/online self-diagnosis services
  2. Rich media (videos online) and red button digital tv services (eg exercise programmes for the elderly)
  3. Remote support (eg United Response’s telesupport service)
  4. Services which rely on the public doing all the work! (eg fix my street)
  5. Devolved services using widgets (eg experts online widget, there’s a case study in the report)

These may help us to think about what services will look like in 10-20 years time.

What’s missing from my lists?

Last updated at 15:08 Mon 18/May/09.
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Dave's picture



From your second list:

  • New fundraising channels; in particular text to donate to the 2004 tsunami fund, but also online donations in general (couldn’t find any figures, sorry)

I think you could add peer support to the list, which goes beyond networking.

At Breast Cancer Care, we have developed a few web based services for advice (e.g. Ask the nurse email service) and some services centered around peer support. Our discussion forum is getting over 12,000 posts per month (x3 what we had last year). We have increased our Live Chat sessions to twice weekly and are piloting a peer to peer email support with connects a newly diagnosed patient with a trained volunteer.

Considering our website core audience is women aged 40-55, I confirm technology is not a barrier for service delivery.

My main issue is that we can’t have a completely open community. I would like to move towards this model in the next three years but we have a duty of care and must ensure our website is safe and doesn’t promote unproven therapies. So having a community is fantastic but to deliver our services we have to institutionalise this community.

Hi Megan

In 2004 we updated our ‘vision for the future of rural services’ (you can leave the ‘rural’ out and it still makes sense).

We suggested a completely new framework for re-thinking service delivery and this makes it clear what we should be using ICT for (including the telephone) and what it’s not suitable for.

The report can be downloaded here

I’d be really interested in your views.


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