A new study comprising interviews with more than 600 government and public sector employees across the UK has found that government and public sector workers still struggle when working on multi-agency initiatives. Workers find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of apps and services available to them, confused by IT security policies, and are often unclear as to how Government Security Classifications relate to their projects.
The study, commissioned by Huddle, looks to understand the role that technology plays in managing multi-agency initiatives.
The need to work across multiple organisations has grown rapidly in recent years, with 20% of workers now regularly sharing files and collaborating on work with stakeholders outside of their own organisation. However, respondents revealed that a lack of training, incompatible IT systems, and unclear IT security policies, are making it difficult to collaborate and work safely across multiple agencies and stakeholders.
– 19% said that the people they needed to collaborate with work in external organisations that use different apps and systems
– 19% said that their IT security policy makes it too difficult to share and collaborate on files with people outside of their organisation.
– 34% are not at all / not very familiar with Government Security Classifications for documents
– 28% of public sector employees do not know how their IT security policies apply to their job roles
– 9% admit to using personal file sharing apps to share and collaborate on file
– Despite security concerns, email is still the principal mechanism for sharing files externally. 57% of respondents have received a phishing attempt to their work email address
– 27% agree that they spend too much time searching for files across multiple systems and file stores
Commenting on the study, Huddle’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Deluca-Smith said: “Whether it be through greater private sector partnerships, or more complex Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs, collaboration beyond the firewall is no longer a choice, it is a necessity. To address this, there has been significant, and positive progress with regards to digital transformation across government and public sector organizations.
“However, digital transformation must go beyond simply deploying new technology. Workers need clear guidance on security policies, better training, and an understanding of how to use technology to work beyond the organisation’s firewall. Only 17% of respondents felt that they had received adequate training. This can lead to confusion and can potentially put sensitive project data at risk.”
The study was commissioned by Huddle, a dedicated multi-agency collaboration platform that helps central and local government organisations to work securely together on projects.
“The right technology can dramatically improve how multi-agency projects function. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) uses Huddle to work across more than 80 different police, and fire and rescue services. Today, they report that tasks that would have taken several hours can now be completed in under a minute. Likewise, Croydon Council uses Huddle to overcome technical restrictions when working on joint initiates with neighbouring local authorities,” finished Deluca-Smith.
The full report (Multi-Agency Collaboration in UK Government: How teams use technology to work across agencies, public sector bodies, and private sector partners) can be downloaded from https://www.huddle.com/resources/whitepapers/multi-agency-collaboration/