How Governments Are Building The Digital Future

Natalia Panina

Many governments now recognize that investing in the digital economy by providing digital channels, apps, and websites that link citizens to public bodies brings economic benefits.

The UK government’s Cloud First policy, for example, requires state departments to consider cloud solutions before alternatives. The Australian government procures $6 billion of information and communications technology (ICT) services annually. Combined with state and territory governments, public sector expenditure on ICT accounts for about 30% of the domestic market.

The Australian government wants to reduce the cost of its ICT by eliminating duplication and fragmentation. It intends to lead by example in using cloud services to reduce costs and lift productivity. Austria’s Federal Computing Center and Denmark’s equivalent body have built shared service centers to standardize and simplify the business processes of state departments. These governments are leading the way to a digital future.

Why are mature governments going digital?

Because advanced technologies now enable us to drive digital transformation to achieve the following:

  1. Enable the public sector to manage a country’s resources more efficiently
  1. Generate more value for citizens and businesses by using new business models and providing digital services
  1. Enable businesses to grow by means of public sector digitalization

There are plenty of projects that demonstrate how state departments have improved tax collection by collaborating online with taxpayers, optimized back-office processes, and saved money by preventing fraud. And they have increased income by better managing assets, like land and buildings, and improved construction planning and accounting.

It is important to prioritize strategic projects, such as building a digital infrastructure, setting up a national program to equip society with digital skills, creating the right economic environment, encouraging small business to increase productivity, and so on. To execute on their strategies, governments are establishing private cloud organizations to centralize operations across focus areas.

Many state agencies, which act on behalf of governments, have made infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) their number-one priority. But real business value can only be achieved if a government’s strategy is amplified by a partnership with a trusted IT adviser that is able to advise on software as a service (SaaS), or even on a model for outsourcing business processes that is on top of the digital platform.

Companies around the globe demonstrate the benefits of data-driven management in state departments, unified processes, cooperation with citizens through the entire omnichannel platform, and embedding valuable Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios in the IT infrastructure. These and many other revolutionary solutions are creating frictionless government as an enabler of the digital economy.

Boosting efficiency and delivering better public services

Technology helps governments boost their efficiency and deliver better public services. The arrival of cloud computing comes at a time when many governments are urging their IT departments and agencies to optimize the cost of delivering IT services and, at the same time, become more flexible and responsive – in essence, to do more with less.

Building a management system for an entire government on one robust platform is definitely the way for the future, as it enables organizations to unify analytical reporting, gain insights from data, and discover new revenue streams.

The digital technologies available today make it possible to use historical data alongside predictive analytics augmented by machine learning so that people can work smarter. Meaningful information from data could be used in many business applications to optimize processes and assist employees. Another example of how technologies can make a real difference in the public sector is blockchain as a service. It can transform how governments and citizens interact by increasing trust and cutting the time it takes agencies to serve citizens.

Such advances have considerable potential in domains such as tax and revenue management, social security, and finance. The benefits could be replicated across all public services to considerable effect. That is why governments are now building private cloud platforms as part of their digital transformation strategy.

Learn more about Running Future Cities on Blockchain.

Natalia Panina

About Natalia Panina

Dr. Natalia Panina, is Vice President Middle& Eastern Europe Public services General Manager & Innovation Lead at SAP. Natalia has been working for SAP 20 years. Since 2014 Natalia is developing SAP business is Middle & Eastern countries launching SAP innovations to public organizations, supporting cross country best practice exchange and shaping the unique digital transformation roadmap for Governments.