Unlocking The Benefits Of Digitization For Governments

Martin Klein

In today’s world, governments need to find better ways to meet current challenges and keep up with the digital expectations of citizens. Digitization can help agencies progress faster toward policy goals by helping to create a frictionless government. Running frictionless is when agencies deliver services based on real insights rather than statistical trends. A government that interacts with no constraints on a variety of channels (mobile, Web, chat, in person) puts citizens first rather than forcing them into the maze of government bureaucracy.

How do you go about improving your agencies processes through technology? Developing a pragmatic and executable strategy in the new digital society can help.

What does a digital frictionless government need?

To have a smooth-running digital government, you need to simplify processes and learn to innovate. No matter what size or place your organization has in government, you can reimagine processes and operational models that can help you achieve policy goals. Think outside the box and find new ways to offer more value by using technology innovations that offer immense opportunities.

How to digitize your government

Tackling these challenges requires more than just improving what’s currently being done. It requires a reimagining of business models, processes, and workforce engagement so that they become live—with decisions and transactions executed in the moment of opportunity.

Consider the role of government in a society that relies on digital technology. A large part of the problem in changing is the complexity of processes agencies face. “In fact, complexity is the greatest barrier to achieving digital transformation and unlocking the value of today’s digital economy,” says SAP’s Markus Schwarz.

A solution to this complexity is a digital core that can help agencies better utilize the volumes of data they collect. A digital core provides agencies with more clarity around their main processes. It gives an integrated system that shows the big picture in real-time instead of only offering outdated glimpses into different parts of the agency. With a digital core, agencies have more simplicity, which helps improve planning for the future. It “interconnects all aspects of the value chain in real-time,” according to Schwarz.

A digital core provides organizations with many benefits. For instance, the State of Indiana leverages data from across departments to help garner new insights and solve societal issues. It enabled Cardiff City Council to have a more effective service experience and New South Wales to improve fire and disaster risk management.

Keeping up with changing times

Many executives put off the goal of improving their digital processes. But the digital world moves forward and changes quickly, leaving behind those who don’t keep up. Many consumer-facing businesses already offer a more user-friendly seamless customer experience than governments do today. Citizens want the same consumer experience from the public sector.

A prime example of a governmental problem with technology is the U.S. healthcare marketplace website. Everyone knows the story of its disastrous beginning and its continuing problems. Grant Gross explained for Computerworld that integration problems seemed to be part of the launch’s issues. Like the U.S., the U.K. had major issues with its National Health Service upgrade, reported Elise Hu for NPR, which prompted it to integrate the different agencies into one platform. Government leaders considered what citizens needed from government websites and made the interactions easier. A digital core can help make such changes happen.

Starting with digital solutions

Governments need to be in line with businesses when it comes to using technology. They can use it to streamline their processes and improve interactions with their citizens. Digital solutions, including a digital core, can create better integrated, more efficient systems—the kind of systems that help governments transform and deliver better outcomes for their constituents.

How is your government or department adapting to today’s digital world?

Read about more about SAP’s perspective on digital government here.

Martin Klein

About Martin Klein

Martin Klein is the global vice president and head of the Industry Business Unit for Public Sector at SAP. He is responsible for driving the company’s overall strategy for this industry, directing product and solution road maps, and leading go-to-market activities.