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Can digital technologies help increase public administration's savings?

Italian public institutions and new working technologies, according to Microsoft Italy real saving is possible

Can digital technologies help increase public administration's savings?

Mario Bini

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Thanks to the digital acceleration of the last decade we've come to a brand new working environment, and problems such as distance, teamwork and connectivity are no longer important issues. Yet public administration in Italy doesn't seem to fully understand the potential of this change, remaining stuck in an obsolete way of services providing.

Microsoft Italy, together with Netics, recently conducted a study that demonstrates how greater use of technologies for integrated communication in public institutions could generate savings up to EUR 1,381 a year per employee, for an overall saving of more than EUR 2,9 billion per year. This isn't just a tough matter for public administration but for private companies too. Large savings are possible thanks to the adoption of unified digital communication technologies.

Some example are integrated presence services, audiovideo web conferencing, project management solutions, co-working platforms and so on. Nowadays digital technologies offer concrete possibilities to increase productivity and sharpening new services reducing costs, for both public and private companies.

However in the last few years there's been an increasing interest from these parts towards social innovation: in 2012 italian government published an e-government plan which reiterates the importance of new architectural paradigms and a contextual process of infrastructures innovation. These data - said in a recent interview Rita Tenan, Head of Public Sector of Microsoft Italy - confirm the strategic value of integrated communications solutions for a costs' rationalization in response to the challenges that local Public Administration and Health are now facing. In a Spending Review scenario the digitization of PA is a priority because it allows to reduce in a short time the operating costs of the bureaucracy and improve employee performance in the name of smart processes.

Now the question is: will the public sector understand this important issue or will it continue operating following old analog paradigms? This we can't know from surveys, but the path towards infrastructures' innovations is already been taken from our country.

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