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Accelerated digital government

COVID-19 brings the next generation of digitization to government

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the advent of a truly digital government.

Prior to the pandemic, governments around the world had been making digital advances, although at an uneven pace. While some had made significant progress, others were still in the early stages of digital transformation. The risk of being “less than perfect” was slowing the transition to digital in many jurisdictions.

When the global pandemic hit, everything changed. Digital was no longer a “nice to have” for government, but an imperative. Consider digital government’s most compelling features: its ability to serve efficiently, scale cheaply, and adapt quickly. The disruption of the pandemic made these features more vital than ever.

Globally, the public sector’s response to the pandemic resulted in rapid change of the sort generally not seen in government. From telehealth to telework, and virtual courts to virtual education, many large-scale digital innovations were rolled out at unprecedented speed. The digital infrastructure, digital workforce, and citizen-facing connectivity that enabled these successes are not just useful during the pandemic; they will lay the foundation for digital government for years to come. 

Our article, Accelerated digital government, which is taken from our Global report, Government Trends 2021, takes key observations on how governments across the world accelerated their digital journey to meet the needs of the pandemic along three major dimensions:

  1. Scaling digital infrastructure
  2. Creating a more digital public workforce
  3. Investing in citizen connectivity
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