4 Ways Digital Transformation Can Revolutionize the Public Sector
Digital transformation is great for business, but what about the public sector? Are governments on the right digital path?
In a major study by Deloitte, only 41 percent of public sector leaders were satisfied with their department’s digital transformation strategy, while a staggering 87 percent of government bodies studied by Deloitte are still in the early stages of reaching digital maturity.
So what are the benefits of digital transformation for governments? Here are four ways that technology can revolutionize the public sector:
Data-driven policy and improved transparency
Big Data is a key driver in digital transformation. With advanced analytics, organizations can form a very clear picture of how they are performing and identify where the true customer demand lies. In the public sector, Big Data and analytics mean unprecedented transparency in all layers of government, with spending and efficiency tracked to a granular level.
For public sector leaders, this means the ability to identify where greater spending is needed or where there is an unsatisfactory return on existing spending and make the kind of data-driven decisions that are transforming enterprises. Transparency can also help to address one of the biggest problems in today’s democracies: trust. Only 36 percent of citizens in OECD countries trust their government and much of this due to a lack of transparency. Digital transformation makes it possible to give citizens meaningful insight into the public sector, helping to restore that damaged trust.
Transformed public services
Digital transformation in the private sector means new products and markets; in the public sector, it means new public services, tailored to meet the needs of citizens. For example, healthcare workers in some regions have access to a cloud-based medical records network which they can access from a secure device. This creates new possibilities for connected at-home care, with the carer empowered to check records, make notes and request medication or appointments, improving service and reducing hospital admissions.
Digital transformation will lead to a continuous cycle of improvement in all public services. Using analytics, governments can gain deep insight into the kind of services that people really need. Using technology, they can build sophisticated solutions at a low cost, creating greater value for taxpayers. These new solutions then gather more data, allowing further analysis and development.
Governments face a challenge when trying to provide services equally to all citizens. Rural dwellers have reduced access, many services are unavailable during business hours, and most government offices don’t have the resources to deal with unexpected spikes and demands; these are some of the issues that cause frustration among service users
Digital transformation offers whole new approaches to offering scalable services. Digital services, such as the ability to order a new passport or driving license online, are available 24/7 in any part of the country, no matter how remote. Cloud-based systems make it easy to cope with any spike in demand while also allowing resources to be freed up during quiet periods.
Improved regulatory infrastructure
Regulation is a major pain point for many businesses – in 2013, the six largest banks in the US spent over $70 billion between them on compliance. In the private sector, this has created a new industry: regtech, sophisticated systems for automating much of the regulatory legwork.
If the private sector is much more sophisticated than the regulatory bodies, this creates a bottleneck. The relevant bodies need to build advanced reporting and auditing platforms of their own. This would have a public benefit of greater oversight, more accurate tax reporting, and improved consumer protection. The reduced compliance costs would also attract further investors, providing a boost to the economy.
Digital transformation allows governments to create improved, personalized, cost-effective and transparent public services, without the need to increase taxes. It’s an answer to the most commonly-asked question in the public sector: how do we achieve more while spending less?
Next: The barriers to Digital Transformation in the public sector