Digital transformation is ‘at a pivotal juncture’

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According to an Accenture report, a government that is digitally enabled could reduce back-office costs by up to 45% as well as seeing a dramatic increase in citizen perception if digital offerings are expanded to the public.

The report, "Digital at Depth: Digital Technologies at the Heart of Public Service Transformation," examines the ways that technologies routinely used by citizens for shopping, banking and commerce are poised to transform the way citizens interact with their governments.

Digitalisation is one of the keys that can contribute to economic growth and competitiveness; a 1% increase in digitalisation can equate to a .5% gain in GDP and a 1.9% gain in international trade. A 10% increase in digitalisation could translate to a .86% drop in a country’s unemployment rate.

Bernard le Masson, global management consulting leader for Accenture‘s Health & Public Service business, said: "Governments have the opportunity to drive true public service transformation through digital technologies. We are at a pivotal juncture. Digital is more than a way to keep up with savvy citizens or streamline processes. It is a transformational tool that can be used to deliver public services of the future."

Currently the majority of digital strategies are focused on making services more efficient, but in the future digital leaders will be able to build upon that efficiency to help transform institutions, structures, processes and workforces.

Digital at Depth identified six characteristics that distinguish digital governments and leaders in public service.

Engaged citizenry: This helps to build a political culture where people are more motivated and engaged with their representatives.

Collaborative services: By collaborating with the private sector and experimenting you could create new models of public service delivery.

Government as a disruptor: If the Government were to establish a risk-taking culture designed to disrupt current institutions then this could advance towards change in public service outcomes.

Open and insight-driven services: The creation of a government that leverages big data to spark new digital economies.
Resilient, mission-critical infrastructure: Ensure highly secured services to the public so that they are confident in the protection of their personal data.

Dr Majid Altuwaijri, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service business in the Middle East, said: "A government, at any level, that instills these characteristics, all enabled by digital at depth, will truly be transformative. Governments can build common digital platforms and play the role of partner, convener or facilitator, driving benefits for administrators, businesses and citizens."

Accenture surveyed over 6,600 citizens citizens in seven countries in order to determine the current levels of digital engagement, the current state of service offerings and the interest in additional services.

An overwhelming majority (92-95%) stated that improved digital services would positively impact their view of the government. Other findings included 33% stating that over half of their interactions with governments took place digitally.

Just over half (54%) are satisfied with the current level of digital services, however, there was no consensus among respondents on the most important improvements governments can make.

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