The Australian government’s digital transformation is in full swing and government agencies must be successful across several key battlegrounds in order to satisfy the Digital Continuity 2020 policy.
To get citizens to engage with online government services, it’s essential to deliver secure, effective and connected experiences that work seamlessly across any channel or device. Building effective citizen experiences requires sophisticated tools. This means not just choosing best-of-breed technologies, but partnering with technology vendors who are pushing the boundaries of technology innovation and experience management.
It also means focusing on what citizens need, rather than simply on what might make it easier for government employees to do their jobs. Citizen experience needs to be at the forefront of how we think.
Konica Minolta has identified six key battlegrounds for digital agencies that need to be continually assessed as part of a cohesive and overarching digital strategy …
1. Technological advancement
The explosion of technologies, companies, advancements and innovations is happening fast and will continue to accelerate. Agencies therefore need a taskforce to monitor the latest technology and put it in context for citizens and government services.
2. Changing citizen behaviour
Agencies must be able to provide services across any channel, at any time, in any way. This omni-channel approach must be balanced by making the least-cost channel of choice attractive and citizen-centric to drive better efficiencies.
3. Legacy processes
In any large organisation, including government agencies, there can be an ingrained way of doing things and many reasons not to change. Agencies must continually assess what legislation needs to change to enable effective digital services and process improvements, by removing one of the key and systemic barriers to change: inertia.
4. Technology capabilities
The government has made it clear that open source technology should be considered where appropriate. However, some commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) innovations are compelling for government agencies. Some prefer to stick with cost-effective technology solutions, like Microsoft SharePoint, which can be powerful but don’t always provide the best end-user experience. Others choose best-of-breed COTS solutions, which can seem expensive upfront, but can also offer rich capabilities and ongoing innovation.
In Konica Minolta’s experience, COTS solutions can deliver greater cost benefit in the long run because they provide more sophisticated end user experience capabilities, such as mobility solutions or the ability to target citizens based on behaviour or need.
5. Skills to drive digital change
There is a skills gap that needs to be resolved to let agencies transform digitally. This can be a particular challenge for government because the competition for skilled and qualified talent drives employment costs higher than the public sector can reasonably tolerate.
6. Security, governance and immediacy of information
Agencies must protect against the continual and ever-increasing threat of cybercrime. The ability to create and disseminate information securely in real time to protect national security, and the protection of citizen information through the digitisation of government services, are key.
Even though the Australian government has made good strides in putting in place policies, guidelines, departments and new approaches, the approach to digital transformation remains fractured across federal, state, and local government. There is a massive amount of duplication of effort and inefficiency that will continue to hinder the digital transformation agenda.
Accordingly, government agencies should work together to develop a cohesive digital strategy that can scale across the various agencies. Doing this sooner rather than later will result in cost savings for government agencies overall, as well as much stronger outcomes for citizen services.