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Public sector says collaboration, not duplication, is key to the future of innovation and productivity 

Whitespace public sector infographic - Business Express

New research has revealed that increasing digital collaboration to reduce duplication across government, is seen by public sector organisations as the key to the future of innovation and productivity. 

In a survey of over 100 senior leaders and managers, collaboration in the online environment was identified as being vital to their future success, scoring 9 out of 10 for importance.

The survey, conducted by Whitespace, the company behind the Shift collaboration platform, found that over three quarters of respondents said that gaining access to external experts is the best way to open new channels of creativity, bringing developments and services into action faster than a traditional siloed approach, where organisations build new services and innovations in isolation, often without being aware of similar initiatives across different departments. 

71% went on to say that external collaboration enables their organisation to be more creative, and to achieve innovative solutions more rapidly.  This in turn can spur improved efficiency, delivering more with the current resources they have, whilst concurrently better connecting them with their clients, enhancing better decisions and outcomes.

Conducted to assess the collaboration landscape, and whether current technology solutions deliver to the needs of modern organisations in a digital era, the survey found that public sector bodies are searching for a solution that covers all aspects of collaboration – fitting seamlessly with their existing IT – in order to inspire innovation and new service developments.

Survey respondents said that they are frustrated by the sheer variety of platforms used for productive collaboration, which meant that they spent more time than they would like sifting through communication tools to find content relevant to them. Over 70% said that they found traditional social channels noisy and distracting.

Respondents were clear about the positive difference that a good collaboration platform could make to their work. 70% said that it would enable them to provide quicker results and save time in their workflows and processes, whilst nearly 80% felt they would benefit from the ability to easily find the right person to collaborate with.  

In the public sector, accessing the right people to is seen as being invaluable as it enables sharing and learning from best practise.  The ability to collaborate easily, online, with experts from other organisations who have achieved particular success with services, provides a straightforward, cost-effective and carbon-cutting way to share learning about what works well between public bodies. 

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Specifically, 75% of those responding from the public sector, said that their organisation would benefit from collaboration which enabled them to share best practices and to use experts or representatives from other local authorities across the UK.

Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer at Whitespace, commented: “The impact of the COVID crisis on the public sector was immense.  New ways of working amplified how critical collaboration is among their own staff, as well as externally, in order to provide seamless services.  It also brought home the need to have a way to do this digitally and enable collaboration both internally, and with external organisations, in a way that is natural and doesn’t require logging in to multiple tools.  Even with the new hybrid way of working, this need to find, connect and collaborate with people in a way that scales, is private, secure and intuitive to use has not gone away. 

“The Whitespace team had this need itself during the crisis internally, and where we needed to continue to collaborate with our customers on innovation projects.  In talking with those customers, many of them articulated the same need.  This customer-led insight is what powered the design and creation of the Shift collaboration platform.” 

Designed to enable organisations to conduct work collaboratively, the Shift Platform is available as a white label tool. It empowers any organisation to build safe and secure, curated, and targeted communities. It also enables external individuals and experts to be invited to become part of targeted work groups, minimising noise and focussing on productivity. 

Created to provide a one-stop bespoke collaboration portal, The Shift Platform challenges the need for organisations to use the likes of LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Workspace by Meta, and other technologies for the purpose of collaboration.

For more information, and to download the full survey report, visit:



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