Transforming for a digital future: government's 2022 to 25 roadmap for digital and data

Updated 29 November 2023

About the roadmap for digital and data

In June 2022, the government published Transforming for a Digital Future, a roadmap for digital and data transformation by 2025. It sets out a common cross-government vision and a set of specific actions we will collectively take to achieve it by 2025. It has been written collaboratively by the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) and central government departments. CDDO is convening implementation across departments and some wider public sector organisations.

On this page, you can find out more about the background, where we are aiming to be by 2025 and the progress we’re making.

Transforming for a Digital Future: Government’s 2022-25 Roadmap for Digital and Data

Why we need the roadmap for digital and data

The government has a set of ambitious priorities, from Levelling up; the programme to spread opportunity more equally across the UK, to Net Zero; the plan to decarbonise our economy to net zero by 2050. These priorities and others could be delivered more quickly and effectively through wider use of digital and data. Improving the way we use digital and data will also enable the government to operate more efficiently and productively, delivering better outcomes and savings for the taxpayer.

Transforming for a Digital Future: Alex Chisholm

Where we’ll be by 2025

Our vision for 2025 is to be a transformed, more efficient digital government that provides better outcomes for everyone. This means we will:

  • Exceed public expectations. We will create user-centric policies and public services that are more efficient, fit for the digital age, centred on user needs and deliver the right outcomes.
  • Equip civil servants for a digital future. We will upskill civil servants in digital capabilities and digital delivery, with access to the right data and tools to do their jobs effectively.
  • Enhance government efficiency and security. We will create a more joined-up and efficient government that uses common building blocks to deliver services quickly, cheaply and securely. We will enable and encourage digital innovation.

How the roadmap will improve government services, productivity and skills

Better public services

Millions of people interact with the government every week, for example to register a birth or death, set up a business, or access a benefit they’re entitled to, such as Universal Credit. Just as in other parts of life, these interactions are increasingly happening online.

CDDO is working with partners across government to transform critical services frequently used by citizens, businesses and civil servants. By 2025, many of these will have great user experience and efficient processes that reduce their cost to run.

Transforming for a Digital Future: Jim Harra

A more productive and efficient government

The government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to deliver savings for the taxpayer.

Digital is recognised in the private sector as the core driver of productivity and efficiency, but we are not yet fully harnessing its potential across the government. Private companies have reduced costs, sped up delivery times and improved user experience by focusing on end-to-end digital transformation of services, using agile, product-centric ways of working and investing in modern technology and systems.

A more digitally skilled Civil Service

Government needs to have the best digital talent. The roadmap explains how we will ensure that government has the digital, data and technology specialists needed to build and maintain world-class digital services for the people we serve.

It’s not only people who work in digital, data and technology teams who need great digital skills; all civil servants need to build their digital and data skills to work more efficiently and effectively. With enhanced skills and access to the right data and tools, colleagues can, for example, optimise the design of new policies or make best use of new technology to work with colleagues based in other locations.

Transforming for a Digital Future: Gina Gill

Latest updates

CDDO is committed to sharing regular updates to ensure transparency about the progress being made. The Digital and Data Board, a forum of Permanent Secretaries, provides overall governance for the strategy and reviews progress every six months. This page and the CDDO blog page provide public updates beyond government stakeholders.

You can read the latest update on the CDDO blog and subscribe to the CDDO blog for future updates.

The six missions

To reach our vision for 2025, we must deliver against six missions which address the biggest challenges we face.

Mission One - Transformed public services that achieve the right outcomes

Sponsored by Peter Schofield, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions

Mission One aims to make government services ‘great’ (against a framework created using industry benchmarks) by delivering the best user experience; the kind of experience people receive when they order groceries or book a train ticket online. More efficient and effective services provide better value for money for the taxpayer. 

Government provides thousands of services. We know we can’t transform them all at once, so we’ve collaborated with government departments to identify the Top 75 services, based on criteria such as how often a service is used, how critical it is to users and potential impact from transformation.

15 services have now reached the ‘great’ standard. To accelerate progress, over autumn 2023 CDDO will be providing direct support to departments, as they implement their ambitious programmes of improvements, with the ultimate aim for 50 of the Top 75 services to be ‘great’ by 2025.

What makes a  ‘great’ public service?

Metrics in the ‘Great’ framework measure:

  • Usability - how easily people can use the service to complete their task, particularly focusing on people being able to complete the digital journey. 
  • Compliance - with standards set out in accessibility legislation ( Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1).
  • Efficiency - measures whether a service is running in a cost-effective way to achieve the service’s objective.
Assessment Metric ‘Great’ Metric Thresholds
Digital adoption >=79%
Digital completion >=80%
User satisfaction >=78%
Meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Meets standards
Cost per Transaction Thresholds defined by service type (complexity) and volume

Qualitative assessment: Following formal assessment against the quantitative ‘great’ thresholds, a qualitative assessment can be applied (by exception). This recognises that services each operate with a unique set of objectives and constraints and some factors are difficult to measure quantitatively. If sufficient evidence is provided scores can be adjusted accordingly through this step. For example, where services are designed to protect against fraud, the goal may be reduced digital completion, rather than high completion.

Case study: Sign up for flood warnings

The Department for Environment, Food and rural Affairs (Defra) and Environment Agency provide a flood warning service for homes and businesses in England at risk of flooding. There are over 2.6 million users registered to receive instant flood warnings. These flood warnings are generated from river level data which is collected via an extensive monitoring network across England. The data is combined with weather forecasts, river models and other information to produce location specific flood forecasts. The service has undergone a significant redesign including improved accessibility and user experience. This has led to the service reaching a ‘great’ standard.

Case study: Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

The Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) service is the UK Government’s most recent flagship Top 75 digital service, providing UK electors with free access to a form of voter identification. The VAC service is supported by the Electoral Registration Officer Portal (EROP), a bespoke web-application delivered by DLUHC. The EROP enables election teams across the country to process digital and paper applications for Voter Authority Certificates. Since their launch, the services have achieved an average user satisfaction rating of 85.9%, improving from an initial 83% in January.

Mission Two - GOV.UK One Login

Sponsored by Jim Harra, Permanent Secretary at HM Revenue and Customs

The purpose of Mission Two is to provide a single way for people to sign in and prove their identity when accessing government services online, through GOV.UK One Login. This is being delivered by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and aims to replace more than 190 different ways to set up accounts to access services on GOV.UK. 

Over 2.5 million people have proven their identity so far using GOV.UK One Login and 23 government services are already using it. This includes the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Vehicle Operator Licence and HM Land Registry. GDS has agreed onboarding plans with most government departments, with many more services due to onboard in the next 18 months. This includes HMRC services currently accessed through Government Gateway. The aim is that all departments will have begun onboarding their services by 2025.

You can try GOV.UK One Login if you work on a central government service.

Mission Three - Better data to power decision making

Sponsored by Professor Sir Ian Diamond, National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority

Mission Three focuses on enabling departments to share and use data safely and securely for better public services and decision making. From exploring the frontiers of artificial intelligence (AI) to calculating benefits entitlements, data is essential to everything government does. By sharing and reusing the most valuable datasets where it’s safe and legal to do so, policymakers and analysts will be able to make better decisions, leading to better outcomes for citizens. 

To do this, government is ensuring that the data it holds is high quality and the culture, standards, systems and processes are in place to enable it to be shared. You can read more about CDDOs work to create the Data Marketplace which provides a front door to discover, access and share government data in a legal, ethical and trusted way.

Case study: The NHS charge exemption API

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has created a series of Application Programming Interfaces (API) which includes one that provides a Real Time Exemption Checking service; a real-time benefit check. Using DWP data, it allows NHS pharmacies to check a citizen’s eligibility for free prescriptions instantly and enables broadband delivery companies to query DWP for claimant status in order to offer broadband price discounts for citizens in certain circumstances. 

An API is a piece of software that enables two systems to talk to each other. This work is vital to making sure people who are eligible for assistance can get to these services in as friction free a way as possible. The automated capability is not only more efficient than previous manual processes, but also helps reduce fraud and error.

Case study: Building data dashboards to help improve the criminal justice system

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has developed an analytical platform that joins up 300 terabytes of criminal justice data, equivalent to 100,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The data is supplied by MoJ, Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The platform provides the data feeds for the criminal justice system data dashboard which gives an overview of the justice system from the point a crime is recorded by the police, to when a case is completed in court. This is helping increase transparency for the public and also enabling MoJ analysts and policymakers to understand performance across the system.

Case study: Using data to help UK businesses expand overseas

The Department of Business and Trade (DBT) supports all UK businesses to grow through the Export Support Service, whether they need an introduction to exporting, help exploring new markets or one-to-one consultations with DBT’s network of advisors across the UK and overseas. This wide-ranging offer means that enquiries come in through multiple sources and a range of data will be related to each enquiry. DBT has brought these data sources together into one ‘master dataset’, ensuring accurate analysis, monitoring and evaluation of the service. The analysis provides rich insight into business attitudes to exporting, which is fed back into policy-making teams and used to further improve the service, driving business growth and in turn the UK economy.

Mission Four - Efficient, secure and sustainable technology

Sponsored by Paul Lincoln, Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence

Mission Four is about modernising, securing and enhancing the sustainability of government’s technology. By replacing outdated legacy systems, responsibly embracing new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and enabling a joined-up, standardised and simplified approach to how technology is built and bought, we are building a strong technical foundation for digital transformation and delivery across government.

Government has already made significant progress, collectively creating a common legacy IT framework, which measures the risk and effort of running outdated legacy technology. Over 25 organisations have now registered and scored their assets using the framework. A significant update to the Government Cloud First Policy has also been published, alongside guidance to civil servants on the use of generative AI. CDDO and central government departments are also working together to ensure that all new government services will be working in line with the Secure by Design approach. This approach embeds cyber security into the delivery of digital services at every stage.

Case study: Replacing outdated IT systems in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has introduced a new Finance and HR system called Hera. This has replaced legacy IT systems and brought more than 20,000 users together onto a single, more secure platform. The new system has been critical to transforming the way the department works, by enabling more efficient management of resources and combining financial and workforce data to improve reporting, service delivery and decision-making. It is also allowing the FCDO to work more closely with other government departments.

Case study: Simplifying and accelerating migration to cloud in the Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has simplified adoption of cloud hosting by creating a specialist in-house team. They share expertise and support other teams across the department in how they manage their cloud hosting, from initial discussions through to practical implementation. The team has made MoJ’s technology more reliable, resilient and cost efficient by accelerating migration of systems and services to cloud hosting.

Case study: Increasing efficiency through automation in the Home Office

In 2022, the Home Office established an expert Automation Centre to improve outcomes for colleagues and users across various services through automation. As of September 2023, the Automation Centre has automated 45 processes cutting across the organisation, with a pipeline and backlog of additional opportunities.

For example, working with a team managing complex queries around passport application, the Automation Centre designed and delivered a solution within six weeks that saved a team from having to create manual tickets for queries. Their time was freed up to resolve customer enquiries instead, and support other business critical work that the team had taken on, such as triage of application upgrades. This solution also sped up the process because tickets could be allocated more quickly for resolution. The predicted cost saving over the three year spending review period is £1,037,814.

Mission Five - Digital skills at scale

Sponsored by Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office

The aim of Mission Five is to build digital skills at scale by improving government’s ability to attract and retain world-class talent, deepening the skills of technologists and upskilling senior leaders on digital and data essentials. This is vital to making sure that the Civil Service has the digital skills needed both for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges and also to reduce our reliance on contingent labour, reducing costs and growing capability for the long-term. 

2,500 tech and digital roles will be recruited via apprenticeships and talent programmes, to bring both experienced and early career talent into the civil service, and a new Digital Secondments Programme pilot is bringing in skills from the private sector.

The essential digital and data skills needed for senior civil servants have now been set out, supported by the launch of the Digital Excellence Programme, a digital and data upskilling programme, to support the goal of upskilling 90% of all senior civil servants by 2025. 

The Government Digital and Data profession itself has also increased by more than 9,000 colleagues since October 2021, in part supported by the continued adoption by organisations across government of the common Government Digital and Data Pay Framework, which is supporting them to retain skilled digital specialists.

Case study: Recruiting digital specialists at the Department for Transport

The Department for Transport (DfT) has taken a range of steps to improve recruitment and retention of skilled digital specialists. This has included developing a stronger brand as well as reviewing the recruitment process to identify areas for improvement. The result has been a major increase in success rates for recruitment campaigns for digital roles. It’s also contributed to a reduction in turnover rates. These improvements are decreasing costs for the department by reducing the number of recruitment campaigns, as well as improving digital capability, by increasing volumes of specialist staff.

Case study: Defra’s Digital, Data and Technology Services Academy 

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched the Digital, Data and Technology Service (DDTS) Academy to bolster skills for the future. The Academy offers digital and technical apprenticeships, with a special focus on growing our own talent in hard to recruit roles. This new approach is helping to address key digital and cyber skills shortages and support development of early career talent.

Mission Six - A system that unlocks digital transformation

Sponsored by Conrad Smewing, Director General, Public Spending at HM Treasury

Mission Six’s ambition is to build a government fit for the digital age by modernising outdated structures and processes. This includes embedding agile and product-centric ways of working across government, ensuring legislation is fit for digital delivery and teams have the flexibility to quickly adopt new solutions. It also means shifting established ideas about risk, value and the way digital projects are funded and delivered. 

Systematic changes on this scale require broad buy-in and co-ownership across government to drive sustainable and long-lasting change.

Through the updated Digital Functional Standard, government has now set out expectations for the management of digital, data and technology. This has been informed by examples of best practice product-lifecycle management approaches and delivery of major programmes through agile methodologies.

Case study: Enabling digital delivery at HMRC

In the latest phase of its digital transformation programme, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is developing a new operating model and organisation structure. HMRC is also transitioning to a ‘platform and product’ approach, with half of the operation focused on platforms and the other half creating products on those platforms. This will support more agile teams that put citizen outcomes at the centre of everything they do.

Case study: Product Lifecycle Management at the Home Office

The Home Office is moving to a Product Lifecycle Management process, working collaboratively across policy, operations and digital to deliver continuous improvements to products and services. Two programmes have transitioned so far, focusing on delivering outcomes and responding quickly to changes. This is helping teams to work more efficiently, create high quality products and services and maximise value for money for the taxpayer.