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Government Shared Services – One Year On!

Monday 19th November saw the Government Shared Services (GSS) celebrate their one-year anniversary, a celebration marked with their Government Services and You; One Year On conference. The theme of the conference was business change, an area which had been highlighted as a common challenge but not one faced in isolation. The event therefore drew subject matter experts from a variety of government departments together to share their ways of working and learn from the opportunities and challenges currently being faced Government-wide.

As a result of the work Veran have done, and continue to do, within the Public Sector, we were thrilled to attend the event and be one of its sponsors along with Workday, Oracle and many more companies who have supported the GSS strategy implementation throughout their first year.

With a host of inspirational speakers, panel discussions, group activities and marketplace networking the day was set to be a huge success for both sponsors and Government delegates.

As Government departments start moving towards the Cloud with their HR and Financial services, it was a great opportunity to discuss what GSS had achieved within their first year, what was next and some key lessons to take forward…

Technology is an enabler, not a fix

With the theme of the conference being business change, conversations around the role of technology within the Public Sector occurred immediately. The opportunities and successes of Cloud software within the Civil Service Fast Stream were referenced as a great example of where back office Government functions have been standardised, streamlined and made more efficient. It was, however, quickly highlighted that technology alone will not facilitate workplace transformation. Technology enables transformation, but business change will be needed to ensure the project is a success and the business vision fully realised, e.g. current business processes, ways of working, attitudes and cultures all might need to adjust.

Communication is key

The importance of communication in managing business change successfully was highlighted throughout the day. Without communication it is practically impossible to get buy in from the business as people are unaware of the drivers of change and what is in it for them in the long-run. Communication must be clear so that the whole business knows what the vision is, their role in creating it and the motivation behind it. Identifying early adopters who can champion the change and help communicate the successes of the system elsewhere can often help encourage those who are somewhat resistant to the project.

David Lancefield stated that behaviours and cultures are the biggest challenge to transformation and that transformation is about translating ideas into day-to-day behaviours. Without communicating the benefits of changing behaviours and the drivers of the change, this translation cannot occur.

Don’t re-invent the wheel

Andy Helliwell, the Strategy Director for GSS, noted the importance of sharing the lessons learnt from technology across departments. With both Workday and Oracle pathfinder projects have taking place within Central Government, it is time to share these findings government-wide. This therefore presented a perfect opportunity for Veran to showcase their Accelerated Cloud Methodology within government. This methodology allows for other government departments to adopt the government standard technology system designs and adapt them to their department instead of starting the whole design process from scratch, accelerating through design and straight into testing. For more information please see our full paper:

Government Services and You; One Year On showcased the work currently being done within Government departments and the milestones that have been met over the past year. There is a huge amount of opportunity within Government and with the help of GSS, most government departments are now well on their way towards Cloud solutions.

For more information on Veran’s work within Government, please contact


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