The digital revolution

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The digital revolution

Reimagining government and the citizen experience?

8 June 2016:  Deloitte University Press today released Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Governmenta new book by William D. Eggers, Director of public sector research at Deloitte Services LP, Deloitte US. The book explores how a new generation of digital innovators is using tools such as cloud computing, mobile devices and analytics to reform and modernise long-standing processes within government and overcome barriers such as legacy systems, silos, embedded cultural norms, procurement limitations, limited funding, competing priorities and cybersecurity risks.

How can a government transform itself into a fully digital state?

Embracing the digital revolution is about more than just implementing new technologies. It’s about a adopting a new digital mindset.

“Unlocking a digital way of thinking to embrace new tools, disrupt outdated legacy processes, and create a shared vision for citizen-focused government services will be essential to any nation’s ability to function efficiently and compete in a modern global economy,” said Eggers.

Frank Farrall, Deloitte Digital Asia Pacific Lead, recognises a recent step-change in digital transformation in Australia, with digital capabilities improving and the way of thinking being embedded into organisational culture.

“Digital transformation within the Australian government is a key focus for senior government leaders, including the Prime Minister,” he said.

“With the creation of the role of the Assistant Minister for Innovation, establishment of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and announcement of the National Innovation and Science Agenda all in 2015, the government really is focusing on delivering a better citizen experience.

“However, a recent report from Deloitte Access Economics for Adobe estimated that each year 811 million federal and state transactions, approximately 40%, are still completed using traditional channels, so there is definitely still a long way to go.

“The report also estimates that reducing this figure to 20% over a ten-year period could generate efficiency and other benefits to government worth around $17.9 billion (in real terms), along with savings in time, convenience and out-of-pocket costs to citizens worth a further $8.7 billion,” said Farrall.

Fran Thorn, Deloitte Public Sector Lead, said: “In this age of rapidly changing technologies, it is now more important than ever for government agencies to consider the impact of digital.

“With the plethora of digital tools - cloud, computing, mobile devices, analytics - and the talent to stage real transformation, this book provides the handbook to make it happen.”

Revolutionising the public sector

Delivering on Digital includes insights from a survey of more than 1,200 government officials from more than 70 countries, including 200 from Australia, on the subject of digital transformation, as well as 140 in-depth interviews with public sector leaders.

In Australia, only 35% of respondents said their organisation had a clear and coherent digital strategy, compared to 46% globally. And only 27% expressed confidence regarding their organisation's readiness to respond to digital trends.Jason Hutchinson, Deloitte Digital Partner, notes that the expectation from Australian consumers, who already self-service online for banking, shopping and other transactions, is already there, but agrees that government hasn’t yet had capability to offer this level of service.

“The good news is we are now seeing governments prioritising their customers, not only recognising them as such, but putting them at the centre of service delivery,” he said.

“With the establishment of ‘one-stop-shops’ such as Service NSW and the proposed Service VIC we can see a clear focus on improving, digitising and centralising transactions and, above all, making it simpler for citizens.

“One of the most significant digitalisations of a government transactional service, the introduction of the electronic tax system, is also being built on, with the DTO looking to embed this customer-centric approach across all government agencies.

“Deloitte is working with a number of government departments and agencies, at both the state and federal levels, to transform existing functions digitally; iteratively implementing user-centric services to offer an improved experience for the user and an efficient transaction and data collection process for the organisation,” said Hutchinson.

Transforming the experience from the inside out

It’s not just citizen transactions but internal processes and systems that are being overhauled, with the NSW government’s ICT strategy including provisions for ID-Hub, a portal providing all NSW public servants with one log in and email address no matter where they work across the NSW government and improving anywhere, anytime access to business systems.

Delivering on Digital examines the journey to digital transformation in three parts:

  • The Digital Way of Thinking, an exploration of the vast difference between traditional government practice and the “digital way”
  • Hacking Bureaucracy, an analysis of the established processes within today’s government that must be reformed and redesigned to achieve digital transformation
  • Digital Redesign, a call to action for readers and leaders to reimagine government in the digital age and consider the use of digital technologies to achieve mission success.

“Embracing this change is one of our government leaders’ most important responsibilities. The consequences of being left behind in the digital revolution are much too high,” said Eggers.

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