Can channel shift be forecast?

June 28, 2012

Goss Interactive are now offering a Channel Shift Return On Investment Calculator, apparently developed in conjunction with Plymouth University. Whilst I admire Goss’ marketing efforts in these mean times, I would suggest that any such calculator is little more than a wet finger in the air to determine the wind direction. Of course one can insert numbers of face-to-face and telephone transactions into a spreadsheet, crank the handle and be presented with what ‘in theory’ would be saved in human resources if the same transactions were done online – assuming again that:

  • All back office applications were interfaced with the web applications in a bi-directional manner? (This also assumes that the capital and revenue costs for the interfaces are built into the same spreadsheet?)
  • The same spreadsheet will also have a calculation for lack of take-up by the digitally unentitled (those without or not wishing to access electronically), the ones that will still telephone in or visit to ask questions?
  • There will be the staff costs of maintaining the web site, back office systems etc under ongoing government changes, new legislation or other factors that come out of the future?
  • That peak trend of applications that the public are willing to undertake online, without human intervention? (estimated at 30% from Canadian experience)

However, one could deny the citizen any face-to-face or telephone access to make the savings, as was done in the private sector? But look what happens when the computer plays up – NatWest, RBS, UlsterBank all open up for extra hours

Are all the costs of going digital truly in there?


Goss Social Media Survey

November 30, 2011

Goss Interactive, website CMS providers, have published a survey of Public Sector Digital Communications and Social Media, undertaken for them by Madeleine Sugden. It’s yet another small sample study of only 115 respondents covering local, central government and other publicly funded bodies – with responses mainly from middle-management plus some elected representatives, and I say that appreciating how hard it is getting responses to surveys, but it does impact on the value of any conclusions, if we are treating it as quantitative data.

For me, one conclusion was the effect of restrictive IT policies, identified by some 46% of respondents. I’m not sure if this is going down or not, but it needs to! I pointed out some years ago that public servants could not be expected to interact with citizens fully, if they were unable to experience or use the same channels. The report does highlight digital access and take-up in rural areas, although many rural areas also have different issues with an elderly population that is less interested in social media. Also notable was that the majority of respondents were unsure of the website budget which to me indicates either their limited involvement in e-matters or the detachment of the social media from the web medium, which other content supports since it was largely focused around public relations.

Some interesting content but limited coverage.