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The demand for social services has dramatically increased as a result of COVID-19. The economic disruption of this pandemic is pressuring governments to redesign the way they work, from the development of budgets to the delivery of services. Responding to these challenges requires government stakeholders to approach issues with an interconnector mindset. They need to see the entire web of relationships within and beyond their organizational firewall as a unified entity that operates smoothly, dynamically, and as part of a cohesive strategy.

Oxford Economics and SAP conducted a survey of 3,000 senior executives in 2020 that illustrates the value of an interconnected approach.  The results of the research show that this interconnected approach to management can increase effectiveness as organizations navigate uncertainty.  Here are some insights from the study:

Prioritizing Issues

The public sector is more likely to prioritize environmental and social issues than private businesses due to its greater commitment towards helping citizens. Addressing these problems improves the retention of current employees and recruitment of new talent, according to the survey. Collaborating with HR can also help government organizations attract the new talent they need.

Employee Experience

The public sector can improve employee retention by creating the right experiences for them. Most of the survey respondents who work in this sector said that improving employ experiences would increase their reputations in their industry. They were also more likely to use personalized employee experiences and feedback systems than those working in private businesses. One-third of survey respondents added that these decisions improved employee engagement.

Citizen Experience

Executives in the public sector are generally confident that citizens view them positively, according to the survey. Maintaining this perception will require an increasing focus on transparency and innovative solutions as COVID-19 continues to disrupt government services. However, 13 percent of survey respondents in the public sector haven’t increased the transparency of their operations at all. Most respondents also included the implementation of cybersecurity measures as as one of the top three factors that would improve their reputation with the public.

Interconnected Organization

The requirements for an interconnected organization include integrated functions, improved collaboration and simplified processes. The majority of public sector respondents indicated their organizations are integrated to some extent, although only 21 percent said their organizations are completely integrated across all functions. In addition, 41 percent of respondents felt the lack of collaboration between functions was a barrier to implementing strategic change. The driving factors behind these silos include the administrative complexity of organizations in the public sector and their reliance on bureaucratic processes.

Data Sharing and Collaboration

The free flow of data across an organization facilitates the distribution of its resources. The public sector must find ways to exchange information ethically and securely despite increasing regulations on data privacy. However, many of these organizations still lack the processes needed to share their data. Only one-third of survey respondents said their organization had invested in data analytics or training for work with data.


The most notable strengths of organizations in the public sector include their ability to improve citizens’ lives and attract new talent. However, they must adopt an interconnected approach to reap the full benefits of these advantages over private businesses. The disruption caused by the current pandemic should increase the priority for reshaping strategies in the public sector.


For further insights from the Public Sector Oxford Economics study, access it here .