By Peter High. Published on Forbes
Mayank Prakash was a chief information officer multiple times over at private sector companies such as Avaya, Sage UK, and iSOFT. He also was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley where he was responsible for Global Wealth and Investment Management Technology.
Four years ago, he pivoted dramatically, taking on the role of Chief Information and Digital Officer of the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the largest public sector organization in the country. He has found a motivated workforce up for the challenge of digital transformation in order to enhance the services that the DWP offers. Moreover, he has seen great advantages to being a more mature company inasmuch as there is ample data to run diverse, mature analytics on data sets that span several decades. He has also found that the significant challenges and opportunities that he and his team have been tasked with tackling have been a magnet for talent that is up to the challenge. He indicates that the greatest joy he has taken from this experience has been the opportunity to impact 22 million British citizens’ lives.
Peter High: Could you describe the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions?
Mayank Prakash: The Department for Work and Pensions is one of the largest organizations in Western Europe, and it is the largest public-sector organization in the United Kingdom. The best way for me to describe the DWP is from the perspective of the 22 million people who drive the change. Everybody in the UK has come across our services in their lives as we touch all citizens. We support children when their parents are separating to ensure that they have a better quality of life. We look after employed people who are of working age to make sure that they have fulfilling lives and that they are working. We look after disabled people to allow them to explore their potential. We look after retired people, who are typically living longer lives. We do all of this in an effort to produce better outcomes for them and for society.
High: Given the diverse array of people sho you deal with, ranging from millennials to older citizens of the United Kingdom, how do you think about the different personas or different experiences in which your citizenry wishes to interact with the DWP?
Prakash: We work with diversity on every dimension, ranging from age and gender to geographical footprint and social background. Like any large organization with a diverse footprint, we do not employ a one size fits all strategy, but instead, we use active segmentation of our customers to make sure we target our services to get the best impact. Additionally, we do not look at these customers as the cohorts. Instead, we ask ourselves what is the problem that we are trying to solve. The purpose is to work with people of working age to ensure that they are, in fact, working. That purpose leads to the need to get more people into work, which leads us to why some people may not be working. This leads to active segmentation and better delivery of targeted services.
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