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article imageFood Standards Agency's journey through digital transformation

By Tim Sandle     Jan 15, 2018 in Food
London - The U.K. public sector has various digital transformation initiatives on-going. One example is with the Food Standards Agency, and the food industry watchdog has recently released an update as to its progress.
The report comes from Phillippa Tasselli, who head of IT Services at the Food Standards Agency to Central Government Computing. One key message from the transformation process is that “digital transformation is not simply about the technology. It’s about the people who are using the technology and how it can unlock their potential.”
The Food Standards Agency is responsible for protecting public health in relation to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The organization is headquartered in London, with national offices in Wales and Northern Ireland. A food hygiene rating scheme is in place for all food businesses.
Included among the strategic programs are the move away from a single supplier outsourced model to provide information technology services for the Agency. This proved to be inflexible and costly. The Agency has decided instead to bring overall control back in house. This has led to the “adoption of a more flexible, responsive, innovative and better value supply chain”, and there has been cost savings of around 40 percent.
Tucking into a tasty fillet steak at The Bull in Wheathampstead  U.K.
Tucking into a tasty fillet steak at The Bull in Wheathampstead, U.K.
Another part of the initiative is the “Our Ways of Working Programme”, which is focused on people. The aim is to foster an environment whereby staff are developed into highly capable users of technology.
A third area is with location, shifting the way the Agency works from fixed locations to one that embraces a digital workplace. This means enabling people to work at any location and on any device. This includes introducing greater workforce flexibility, including home working and for inspectors to complete food standards reports at different locations. With this the Agency recognized that a ‘one size fits all’ approach was not appropriate and different personnel require different software, access levels and equipment.
The new services also allow for greater interactions and connectivity, such as document sharing and the pooling of expertise. To help with the change process, the Agency has worked with the consultancy Rainmaker Solutions. The consultancy helps businesses to save costs and to re-engineer operations.
To achieve these objectives, the Agency has invested in new hardware and software. However, the main aspect, according to Tasselli, is with people and the necessary culture change.
More about food standards, Food Standards Agency', Government, digital transformation
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