Digital government report

Driving digital public services in Northern Ireland

Digital transformation in the public sector is at the heart of everyday delivery of efficient, cost-effective public services, writes Mairead Hylands, Commercial Director Public Services Northern Ireland.

To be a trusted partner for such a critical sector means that innovative thinking and expert guidance on decisions for the right technology choices is a given. With AI growing in adoption, the UK Government has recently published a Generative AI Framework for HMG, which acts as a guide for safe and responsible implementation of generative AI, and it is imperative that technology suppliers are aligned to this.

This should not be at the sacrifice of innovation, so partners should provide counsel on the complexities and the achievable.

Version 1 has been working at the heart of government in Northern Ireland and across the UK and Ireland for more than 26 years, specifically driving digitalisation of central and local government processes to improve efficiency, drive down costs and enhance access to services for an ever-growing user base.

Skills, expertise, and innovation is indeed a given, but what sets the organisation apart is the people. Comprising of leading global experts in the fields of data and AI, cloud transformation, managed services, application modernisation, digital integration, enterprise applications, and security and identity, the Version 1 team is focused on successful customer outcomes, on time and on budget. A customer retention rate of 98 per cent is testament to this.

Much of that work in Northern Ireland has been on significant, complex, and large-scale projects which, in the truest sense of the word, have proved transformational.

A five-year application development and maintenance contract with the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland for its AccessNI Disclosure System was one such example.

Version 1 transitioned support from the incumbent supplier, with a review of the in-scope application, ensuring that the key line of business application continued to run efficiently and maintain maximum levels of operation, which was essential to AccessNI’s overall operations.

Other contracts include Land and Property Services to deliver digitally integrated solutions, and work with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Education Authority to deliver on their vision to enhance digital public services.

Much of the expertise within Version 1 to complete these projects on time and within budget is based at its Belfast headquarters in Lanyon Place, which counts over 500 staff, but it also calls on expertise from the wider organisation which totals over 3,200.

In fact, the company has digital transformation expertise replicated throughout the rest of the UK and Ireland, where it works on similar government projects with public service customers such as the Department of Education in Dublin and National Highways and the Ministry of Justice in Great Britain.

Mairead Hylands
Commercial Director Public Service NI
T: +44 7495 873956

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