ICT investments lead to staff reductions


In 2017, 33 per cent of central government activities reported that they planned staff reductions as a result of ICT investments. This is particularly the case in hospital activities.

The government aims to increase productivity in the public sector, which will reduce public sector staff costs. The share of central government activities that reported expected staff reductions following ICT investments has increased from 28 per cent in 2016 to 33 per cent in 2017. Seven per cent do not consider staff reductions necessary in their activities.

Figure 1. The share in industries that expect staff reductions following ICT investments

2016 2017
Other central government activities 37 30
Regulation in health care, education, cultural services and other social services¹ 15 37
Regulation of and contribution to more efficient operation of businesses 21 23
Provision of services to the community as a whole 15 11
General public administration activities 31 29
Higher education 29 27
Hospital activities 59 77
The central government 28 33

The yield from ICT investments can take some time to emerge. In 2015, 25 per cent of the central government planned to reduce staff following ICT investments. Two years later, 7 per cent reported that they had reduced staff to quite a large degree or to a very large degree, following the last two years of ICT investments.

In hospital activities, the share that expects staff reductions increased from 59 per cent in 2016 to 77 per cent in 2017. Twenty-three per cent of hospital activities have experienced staff reductions from ICT investments in the last two years, to quite a large degree or to a very large degree.

Reduced staffing level requires greater efficiency

ICT investments can result in more productive staff. Ninety-four and 90 per cent of the central government’s activities expect new ICT systems to improve work routines and ICT infrastructure respectively.