Transforming public services

The digital world is constantly evolving. Our task is to ensure that Scotland's digital public services are high quality, ever improving and meeting the needs of the people who live here.

In March 2021, the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities launched an updated digital strategy for Scotland: A changing nation: how Scotland will thrive in a digital world. This outlines what we need to do to make sure we match the pace of change we’re experiencing and why it is necessary for government to rethink how we ‘do digital’.

In line with the Strategy, the vision is of a modern public sector, open to collaboration and transformation. This includes making it easier for people and projects to access shared, high quality digital solutions designed around the people who use them. Organisations in the sector that embrace the vision should strive for sustainability and continuous improvement as they progress their respective digital journeys. 

Transformation support

To promote the vision, we provide a range of guidance and support, helping public sector organisations to:

  • identify new, more efficient and collaborative ways of working
  • design and build improved digital public services based on a shared modern infrastructure of technology systems and components which are reused across the sector
  • deliver user-centred, efficient and effective public-facing services in line with best practice by following the Digital Scotland Service Standard
  • apply service approaches based on users’ needs and ‘life events’ (not on how the public sector is structured), following the Scottish Approach to Service Design
  • upskill and develop capability, ensuring that digital transformation is embedded and taken forward sustainably

How we're doing this

We are developing transformation support with cloud-based common platforms and core digital components that are available for successful re-use. This emphasis on collaboration and sharing is a key feature of public service reform.

Transformation Support Service

We are establishing a Transformation Support Service to lead and deliver changes to how we do digital. The service provides information and guidance to those undertaking transformation projects, while it undergoes incremental changes to improve the service offer. The current service offer includes access to self-help guidance, and signposting to other services and frameworks. In some instances we also offer further advice on the development of problem and opportunity statements, informal ad-hoc support and guidance, and workshop facilitation.

Digital Support Hub

We have created a Digital Support Hub (DSH) that promotes national policies and best practices, providing a wide range of information and guidance. This is a one-stop platform giving free help and advice to organisations and individuals on building better online services for the people of Scotland.

Digital publishing service

We provide a digital publishing service which supports (a place to publish information about and access to public services in Scotland) and (our corporate website).

Cloud Platform Service

The Cloud Platform Service accelerates the adoption of modern cloud technology in the Scottish public sector, making services secure, sustainable and cost-effective. Using the platform speeds up development, provides access to discounts and prevents duplication of effort. Four programmes have been running on the Alpha AWS service since May 2022 and additional agencies are onboarding. The AWS service goes live in August 2023, and the Azure service goes into Beta at the same time. Those seeking more information about the services should contact

Payments programme

The Government’s Payments programme intends to transform the way Scottish Government facilitates payments across government and the wider public sector.  It has a long-term vision to design, build and manage a common, consistent and reliable payments service built on a single payments platform. Two funds are operational and processing payments weekly – a total of £4.3 million has been processed so far. The Payments Service is in the Beta stage of development with a new partner, and will continue to grow and improve incrementally. Organisations and teams are encouraged to get in touch to discuss any current or future payment service needs.

Identity Service

We have developed ScotAccount, the Government Identity Service, to provide sign in and identity-verification capability for accessing Scotland’s public services. This provides a privacy-respecting and user-friendly service designed to the Digital Scotland Service Standard and Scottish Government privacy and identity principles. The two key capabilities – sign in, with credentials, and identity verification – are now live and being used by Disclosure Scotland to improve its service offer to users. If a public service requires users to sign in or it’s necessary to verify someone’s information before providing a service, this support is available.

Digital usability and accessibility support

We provide public sector organisations with digital usability and accessibility support and expert guidance. This will help them fulfil their legal duties so everyone can access online content and services with equivalent user experiences for disabled people.

Digital Commercial Service

The Digital Commercial Service aims to transform how digital projects are procured and managed, and guides partners in effective ways of engaging the market. The Service objectives are that buying organisations understand the:

  • commercial pathways to reusable components
  • process to procure digital products aligned to expected standards, governance and mandates
  • availability of existing routes to market, currently available products, and where and how to buy these effectively and efficiently

Once for Scotland

We created Once for Scotland - a group of public sector partners whose members collaborate to develop systems and services that can be shared. This reduces costs and enables resources to be focused on front-line services.

More information

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