More effective use of technology has the potential to improve every aspect of government

From internal HR and accounting processes to policy making and public service delivery, technology should help government do things better, and potentially save money in the process.

The Institute for Government has carried out a range of research on the UK Government’s use of IT and the challenges of digital transformation. 2011’s System Error laid the foundations for later projects, recommending that government adopt a ‘platform’ and ‘agile’ approach to IT. More recent reports such as Making a success of digital government and Improving the management of digital government have focused on some specific barriers to change and the need for clearer leadership if the benefits of new technology are to be realised fully.

Our latest programme of work considers the impact of ‘future’ technologies on government. Rapid advances in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) are already transforming society, and government will need to change with it. But the questions of what such changes will look like, when they will happen, which particular technologies will dominate and how far future technology will change government remain open.

We are currently considering the impact of new technologies on three main areas: the public sector workforce, the policy making process, and public services. Our research will also address a range of cross-cutting issues, including questions related to data sharing, ethics, and cyber security. Our key research questions are summarised on our Medium page.

We expect that our research and recommendations will guide how government leaders think about the likelihood, scale, and timeliness of transformational change that is driven by new technology, and how they can prepare for making decisions about such changes.

As well as our previous digital projects, this research will build on the Institute’s existing work on Whitehall, the Government’s use of data (including gaps that need to be filled), the government workforce, policy making and public services.

We will be publishing weekly updates on our progress on our Medium page, and you can get in touch with any thoughts or suggestions at


Project contacts

Programme Director, Head of Data and Transparency