Digital transformation is imperative for organizations with today’s rapidly evolving technology. Yet, compared to other sectors, governments are behind in terms of digital transformation, even though citizens of today expect public services to be as personalized and timely as the service they receive from the private sector.
Digital transformation is a popular term these days. It’s used to refer to anything from IT infrastructure, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In general terms, it refers to how organizations are rethinking the use of technology, people, and processes.
Digital government transformation is the ongoing application of modern technology to improve government performance. Governments at all levels are undergoing digital transformation to deliver services and programs more efficiently, transparently, and cost-effectively.
The core benefits of a digital government
Digital transformation is a journey, often an ongoing process. It happens gradually as technology is implemented over time and continually improved, as the workforce learns the new system, and as organizational culture shifts from manual processes to digital systems.
A seamless digital experience ensures governments remain relevant and accessible for citizens. There are benefits to making digital transformation a top priority for the government.
Digitized operations and processes
Historically, governments and citizens have been forced to rely on traditional means of interacting, including in-person visits, phone calls, and paper documents. This has led to inefficiencies due to the delay in communication between parties as well as the required time and effort that must be put into processing information for both parties.
The use of digital technologies can help streamline this process by providing citizens with easy access to government services and allowing government employees to better organize and manage information related to constituents.
Potentially offering the biggest benefit in terms of productivity gains is the automation of internal processes that are labor-intensive and time-costly, such as manual processing of data. By digitizing processes through the use of cloud, mobile, artificial intelligence, and automation, governments can easily and more efficiently process applications, claims, etc. It also increases engagement with citizens and improves efficiency.
As an example, the tax administration in Norway gives citizens pre-filled tax returns, resulting in more than 70% of the forms being returned. Similarly, Denmark amended its tax laws and created an algorithm for classifying newly registered businesses, drastically reducing the human interaction involved in registering new businesses to 2%.
Improved customer service
People are accustomed to using technology to order food, do their banking, or renew their insurance policy. They expect to be able to do all their business online and most people will use the internet for research. Social media is replacing traditional forms of contact with organizations, whether it is for reporting or giving feedback or being informed about new services.
Mobile means, such as apps or text messages, give people greater accessibility to the services they need. Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots can deliver services to citizens acting as assistants on government websites, and web portals can be created to ensure government information is accessible for citizens. Innovative communication tools are vital when dealing with government issues and concerns.
Advanced analytics turn collected data gathered continuously from people and devices into more personalized services and delivery. For example, making an online appointment with a health service can link people to other health support groups in the local area. In Australia, the tax office used data analysis to develop financial benchmarks. This helps the agency to identify organizations that have under-reported their income and send notifications of potential discrepancies, helping them avoid fines.
Improved department collaboration
Utilizing technology such as cloud computing increases the collaboration between government departments. Instead of spending time requesting documents or reports from other areas, or physically updating files, employees can conveniently access cross-department information through simple queries, rather than through hours spent looking through archives.
Centralized documents mean all departments can immediately view the same information, effectively eliminating data silos. Employees across departments can access, manage, and make decisions based on the most accurate data available, which reduces the risk of human error and communication breakdown.
Governments are being asked to do more, with more speed and no guarantee of an expanding budget to fulfill these expectations. Digitizing processes and operations within government departments eliminate administration costs, such as printing and mailing documents, or transaction costs with online payment options. The increased productivity achieved from digitization can defer costs to the workforce.
Cloud-based platforms are more cost-efficient than on-site server-based platforms, which require costly maintenance and space. Documents that are legally required to be stored for lengthy time frames can be stored securely in the cloud, eliminating the need for large amounts of secure physical space.
The world of digital transformation is a constantly evolving one. Businesses and governments alike can benefit from strategically planning a digital transformation. PWR Technologies provides business IT support, solutions, and communication services to businesses and government agencies, so your organization is prepared for the future.