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About digital

Digital transformation is probably the most influential force for organisational change today, challenging ‘traditional’ organisations to come up with new ways of serving their customers and the public.

We have been publishing our insights on digital transformation since this became a focus for government in recent years.

Our position of being able to look at individual departments in depth, as well as across government as a whole gives us a unique vantage point from which to share our insights of what has worked well and where the more persistent challenges remain.

The reports, guidance and blogs on this page contain highlights of our knowledge of digital transformation.


Guidance for audit committees on cloud services

Our cloud guidance for audit committees builds on our 2019 guidance.

Doctor using an electronic tablet

Digital transformation in the NHS

Progress in transforming digital services in the NHS has been slower than expected, and there are technical challenges to resolve.

A hand on a computer mouse

Challenges in using data across government

Our work repeatedly highlights the importance of evidence-based decision-making, and the problems that arise when data is inadequate.

Man working on laptop

Investigation into Verify

Verify has had many of the failings we often see in major programmes, including optimism bias and failure to set clear objectives.

More publications →

Opinion and comment

Taking on the challenge of public sector cyber security

Read about government’s recently published cyber security strategy and the challenges faced in implementing it.

Six reasons why digital transformation is still a problem for government

We share 6 of the systemic issues that need to be tackled before a programme even gets underway, using our past reports as illustrations.

Better data means better services – so how can government get there?

A discussion of the issues surrounding the sharing of data across government.

Woman using tablet

Right data, right place, right time

Data helps improve systems and processes, and supports good decision-making. But accessing accurate data is far from easy.

Infographic: £14.3 billion: government operational expenditure on ICT in 2018-19
Infographic: 78%: government organisations responding to our digital skills survey who said external conditions made it hard to recruit, retain and develop staff

Our Experts

Yvonne Gallagher

Yvonne is our digital transformation expert, focused on assessing the value for money of the implementation of digital change programmes. Yvonne has over 25 years’ experience in IT, business change, digital services and cyber and information assurance, including as CIO in two government departments and senior roles in private sector organisations, including the Prudential and Network Rail.

Jonathan Pownall

Jonathan is a digital specialist at the National Audit Office and has over 20 years’ experience of assessing digital and technology programmes in the central government sector, including the management of associated technology risk. He is a contributing author to numerous NAO reports including Digital transformation in government, Challenges in using data across government and Digital transformation in the NHS. Prior to joining the NAO he held an assurance role with one of the leading international accountancy and advisory firms.

John Bell

John is a digital specialist with 25 years’ experience of delivering IT enabled business change through programmes and projects. He was a Gateway Review Leader and Gateway Director in the Office of Government Commerce and held senior Programme and Project Management positions in the Education Department. In his 7 years with NAO he has been involved in a range of VFM audits including Nuclear Decommissioning, Emergency Services Network and Smart Meters. He’s also worked on Investigations, Financial Audit, and IT Audit. 

Daniel Lambauer

Daniel is the Executive Director with responsibility for strategy and resources. As part of his portfolio he oversees our digital services, change and information security functions and is our Chief Information Officer and Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO). He is also the executive sponsor of the NAO’s audit work on digital change and transformation.