Building a Digital Democracy: A Citizen-First Approach Government

By Kirsten Oelrich 3 min read

The public sector is under sustained pressure to cut cost of public administration while improving service availability and quality. With the explosion of digital technologies, citizen expectations of government continue to rise in terms of efficiency, speed and convenience of service.

Government organizations are fast discovering that digital technologies hold the key to achieving these conflicting goals. According to a study, digital technologies will play a big role in key segments of the economy by 2025. The move to digital governance is not just an option anymore. It’s an imperative.

But the challenge before governments is formidable.

The public sector suffers from the rigidity of legacy infrastructure, hindering their digital transformation. To rise to the challenge of digital transformation, government must recognize the scale of change that is required in existing processes and ways of working. Leaders must prepare to collaborate beyond teams and departments and make sure their organizations are prepared to adapt and work across organizational boundaries.

The payoffs are rewarding. The adoption of digital will facilitate broader citizen engagement, empowered employees and new digital infrastructures that will provide better access to data and services. A successful digital transformation initiative will result in improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer and citizen experiences, greater agility and flexibility, better risk management and security.

But digital transformation is an ongoing journey. The service delivery ecosystem of the future will be very different from the one we know today. We believe digital transformation will offer citizens many desirable outcomes over the next decade and beyond – providing another strong incentive for accelerated change. Some of these include:

1. Anywhere access

Citizens could do the vast bulk of their business with government online compared to today. Public sector staff could also increasingly collaborate with other staff, third-party partners and even citizens online. Citizens could have full access to government services from mobile devices from anywhere, anytime. In fact, this could become the norm. With an omni-channel approach, all channels of interaction, including bricks-and-mortar branches where it is needed, could be integrated to enable public servants to help deliver high-quality, accurate and targeted services.

2. Responsive service delivery

New analytics capabilities will help give policymakers near real-time access to program delivery metrics to help enable rapid, evidence-based policy adjustment. This presents the opportunity to minimize the feedback time for policy effectiveness. Improved governance and information exchange standards will help allow close to real-time performance measurement of the unit cost of service delivery. Line-of-sight delivery already occurs in parts of the private sector, where digital technology is used to dynamically manage businesses and help them respond to changing priorities.

3. Personalization and targeting

Instead of relying on traditional market segmentation, services could be precisely targeted at areas of need, such as a specific healthcare service for an individual. This will help improve policy outcomes and help save money by reducing waste. Public sector organizations are encouraging citizens to embrace self-service by deploying more advanced websites and mobile applications. They are also using big data and analytics tools to more precisely target services and improve decision-making.

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TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.

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Kirsten Oelrich

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Kirsten Oelrich