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Socitm benchmarking summary 2023

Authors and contributors: Matthew Fraser

Socitm benchmarking summary 2023

Socitm’s benchmarking services have been helping organisations identify their strengths and weaknesses for over 24 years.

Through a combination of staff surveys and workshops Socitm has assisted these participants to track changes in their service, and anonymously compare themselves to their peers. While every organisation has its own unique circumstances, some overall trends stand out.

In considering the data collected between April 2021 and March 2023 as a whole, we have been able to draw several conclusions.

User Satisfaction

22 organisations surveyed their users’ satisfaction with over 11,000 responses. Some of our observations include:

Illustration showing a large touchscreen with user satisfaction level gauge on-screen

Users have short memories

During the Covid-19 pandemic, in appreciation for the changes in working that ICT provided, our benchmark for overall satisfaction rose by 10%. However, recent responses have dropped back by 4.5%. While this is still a high result, it shows that continual effort is required to fulfil the expectation of users.

Services remain resilient

Perception on the reliability of services dropped by 4.5%. Yet this benchmark remains higher than at any point during the last 10 years, and 5% higher than immediately before the pandemic.

Testimonial: Bradford City Council

"We have used Socitm's benchmarking services for a number of years and continue to find the offering extremely beneficial in not only benchmarking our service delivery against our peers, but also against previous years' submissions.

The PowerBi reporting dashboard provides great insight into the impact of changes to our operational processes, whilst also demonstrating value for money in the delivery of those services. We continue to expand the use of the modules and have recently adopted the User Satisfaction and Skills modules to further support the understanding of our customers' needs and provision of services."

Cost, Delivery and Performance

15 organisations took part in our Cost, Delivery and Performance benchmarking to determine how they compared with their peers. We noted the following trends:

Staff turmoil is rising

While during the pandemic we observed staff remaining in post due to the stability of the public sector, we have begun to note higher turnover of staff (8.5%) and shrinking workforces (-5.1%) as organisations struggle to fill increasing vacancies.

Fewer devices are being supported per user

For a time, it was not uncommon for each user to have three or even four devices, however the gradual phasing out of desk phones in favour of softphones and more informed procurement of workstations has brought this benchmark back to closer to two.

Service desks are calmer

Our benchmark for incidents dropped by 33% per user, and 54% per service desk operative. This shows both how heavily worked these individuals were during the pandemic and also how participating organisations have restructured to balance this workload.

We have proved that flexible working, works

There is a clear consensus among participants that flexible working, both in terms of location and hours is beneficial. 93% of organisations observed an improvement in work/life balance, with 71% noting better productivity. It is noteworthy that many felt they were able to base this opinion on quantifiable data.

Testimonial: Argyll and Bute Council

"Argyll and Bute Council has been a participant of Socitm's benchmarking services for over 10 years. Benchmarking the cost and performance of our ICT service against other authorities has provided us with an evidence-based set of results which we have used to influence our strategic priorities and deliver a better service for our customers.

Overall, the service from Socitm helps us understand our customer needs, support business cases, measure the impact of the work we do and demonstrate the value of our ICT service to our colleagues, management teams and elected members."

Conclusion

Do you know the equivalent data for your service and organisation? Benchmarking against your own numbers, year-on-year, gives you great information about where to prioritise and where to relax.  

Thinking and talking around the numbers and what they might or might not be demonstrating gives you something extra. Sharing confidentially and openly with people like you in local authorities bigger or smaller than yours, gives you access to people who might’ve already been where you are. And can help you through the problem. With a lot less fuss. 

If you are ready to start your benchmarking journey, talk to us. We can discuss all details and get you set up and ready to go. Contact us or learn more in the benchmarking help centre.

Previous benchmarking reports are available in the resource hub. View the benchmarking report for 2022