British public demand more government services online after lockdown experience, but humanizing them will be key, says Infosys Research


84% of the UK population think more government services should be available online, and half want easier access via a central connection to all government services

LONDON, October 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new study by Infosys (NSE: INFY) (BSE: INFY) (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital consulting and services. Research has revealed that online accessibility, convenient single sign-on and the human touch will be key to the long-term success of public sector digital services.

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The survey of 1,500 people living in the UK found that 8 in 10 people have accessed government services online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents highlighted that they appreciate how inclusive and convenient it is for government services, previously only available in person by visiting local council offices, to be available online anytime. Yet while more than a third (34%) of people in the UK primarily used digital services, they still had to use some in-person or telephone services that were not yet available digitally.

While digital engagement has increased during the pandemic, more than a quarter of people (28%) who primarily used digital services still prefer human interaction and are likely to return to in-person services when they can.

If local councils and government want the public to benefit from the efficiency of digital service delivery and focus their ‘in-person’ services on the most digitally excluded, the research has highlighted areas where improvements could be brought.

While most people (90%) believe security is the same or better than in the private sector, more than one in five (22%) struggle to remember the multiple passwords required. In fact, more than half (53%) want a single sign-on process for public sector services.

“The UK Government‘s National Data Strategy deliverables, ‘Improving the delivery of public policies and services’ and ‘Creating a fairer society for all’, depend on the continued development of digital public services and the uptake by more people from a long-term online approach. With more than 40 million adults interacting with local and national governments during the lockdown and 18 million people now accessing these services primarily online, experience and inclusiveness should be at the heart of digital government transformation,” said Mohit Joshi, President, Infosys.

Inclusion and accessibility
The research revealed an overwhelming expectation that digital services should be a catalyst for increasing inclusion. More than four in five people (85%) think public sector digital services should be more inclusive for people with disabilities, think better access should be given to people living in remote areas (86%) and think that more can be done to attract people with disabilities. low digital skills (83%).

With increasingly ethnically diverse populations, local authorities also face the challenge of providing services in many languages. More than 3 in 5 people (63%) believe that public sector digital services should be available in more languages. This rises to almost three-quarters (72%) of people who were foreign-born or whose first language is not English. Technology has the potential to reduce the digital exclusion gap, by offering a greater range of services in multiple languages.

The human experience
Although people are accessing public sector digital services more frequently due to the lockdown, human interaction is still preferred, whether in municipal or government offices or over the phone for all ages. Additionally, half (51%) of respondents said it was important for their digital experiences to feel human and empathetic.

This is where technologies like chatbots can bridge the human gap. 71% of respondents said they appreciate a more interactive approach to digital experiences, and technologies such as chatbots that can provide empathy through AI could be very helpful in encouraging more people to use digital services.

“The UK is built on diversity, and this needs to be reflected in the services and experiences citizens have access to. Our research has really shed light on the importance of streamlining public sector digital experiences online, d “humanizing these experiences and bridging the digital divide to ensure equitable access for all. By doing so, in-person and human interactions will be more accessible to the most vulnerable people who need them most,” concludes Mohit Joshi.

Explore this Infosys – What’s Next for UK Public Sector Digital Services research report here.

Infosys commissioned independent market research conducted by Pollfish in early 2021, with 1,500 UK residents aged 18 and over.

About Infosys Ltd.
Infosys is a global leader in next-generation digital consulting and services. We enable customers in over 50 countries to navigate their digital transformation. With over four decades of experience managing the systems and operations of global enterprises, we expertly support our clients throughout their digital journey. We do this by empowering the business with an AI-powered core that helps prioritize change execution. We also equip the business with agile digital at scale to deliver unprecedented levels of performance and customer satisfaction. Our lifelong learning program drives their continuous improvement by developing and transferring digital skills, expertise and insights from our innovation ecosystem.

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