Week in government tech: U.K. gov. could save £24 billion annually by going totally digital, report finds

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The U.K. government is already on track to save  £1.7 billion annually after 2015 by doing away with paper forms for some of the most common citizen transactions. But a new report suggests that a totally paperless government could save so much more -- as much as £24 billion per year.

Cloud first: 

Small- and medium-sized enterprises have a vital role to play in the government's efforts to save money through technology -- and G-Cloud is at the heart of enabling that, observers say. "G-Cloud, designed for SMEs, is specifically there so that all of these contracts are much smaller, and that the SMEs are actually able to engage and win them,” said Chris Hugo, a director at government relationship management consultancy Govdata.

Digital by default:

What will the city of the future look like? Cities are looking to leverage data, devices and apps to track complex social challenges. Mayor of London Boris Johnson, for example, is using a wall of tablet devices displaying a variety of statistics to act as a dashboard for the city. The challenge ahead, experts say, is finding ways to use this information to make substantive changes that solve problems and take citizens into account.

Government tech on the move:

The Government Digital Service is using Foreign Office data to launch a tool that provide insights into which potential holiday destinations may present dangers to U.K. tourists.

Transforming your organisation:

Agile methodologies aren't just for software developers -- here's how the Government Digital Service approaches research from an agile perspective. Some of their keys to success include regular testing, using a wide variety of tools, and getting the entire team involved in the process, writes Leisa Reichelt. "We’re iterating how we work in the same way we’re iterating our projects. As we find better ways to work within teams and within the agile framework, we are better able to help teams build empathy with users and shape products that are focused on their needs," she writes.

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