Local government organisations are struggling to complete digital transformation programmes as a result of "poor" skills among those delivering the service, a study has found.
A report published by not-for-profit IT services company Eduserv found that 85 per cent of HR leaders in local government believe that a lack of "digital literacy" skills in front-line staff is holding back IT digital change programmes.
The report found that 51 per cent of councils are outsourcing to external contractors, but encouraged them to train their own staff and cut out third-party consultancy.
It stated: "The survey results indicated that there is a dependence in councils on external support for digital programmes.
"[Councils should] avoid long-term dependence on external consultancy and contractors. This is expensive, it creates a liability for change, reduces control internally, reduces the opportunities for internal staff, limits skills transfer and can create IR35 risks."
The report claims that, while 76 per cent of local government organisations have a plan in place for digital transformation programmes, only six per cent have the resources to do so without seeking third-party consultancy or services.
It added that councils should be consulting with their HR departments more to fill gaps in their IT teams and not rely on service providers.
Jos Creese, principal analyst for the Eduserv, said: "This research shows that although councils are taking significant steps to improve digital skills across their organisations, those responsible for delivering services on the front line are getting left behind on the digital journey in terms of understanding and adoption.
"Digital is about people more than technology so it is vital that councils put their HR teams at the heart of planning, working with IT and digital teams to ensure the right skills and knowledge are in place to ensure digital change projects succeed."
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