Comparing governments with businesses has always helped individuals to understand the concept of government better. It’s the same when it comes to comparing digital transformation in enterprises with eGovernment transformation. In both cases we have a big structure that is divided on different department levels – finances, social care, justice, food safety, road safety, etc. However, in terms of complexity there will always be one winner – and it’s the government.
How complexity differs in businesses and governments?
Businesses are serving the market and make their decisions with the goal of extracting a benefit from the market. Governments are beyond that – they serve both the public and the business and have a regulatory function to make decisions based on information that is gathered with paperwork or e-government services. That’s why we talk about whole other level of complexity.
If we take a close look at different levels within a government we will be able to gain a clear picture on the complexity we’re talking about. Let’s take for an example the structure of the government financial management. If a business doesn’t plan budgets wisely and doesn’t take financial decisions based on objectives like cost-efficiency, then the business will collapse. It’s the same with the public sector. That’s why financial systems have streamlined processes and principles that ensure the financial vitality of an organization.
If a closed eco-system like a small or medium business starts automating their financial management process by process, then we will have a classic digital transformation plan in action. Things in governments are a little bit more complicated. It’s simply so because the complexity of governments requires from the IT decision makers, CIOs and functional leaders the look further in the picture.
Why government CIOs need to look further in the digital transformation picture?
Let’s take for an example a social care regulator. Digital transformation in such structure will start by transforming the internal processes: first automating case management operations, then the inspection management processes, etc. The next stage of transformation will capture the processes with external agents by building up self-service portals. The self-service portals might serve the needs of the Ministry of social care at first and then expand to serving citizens. At certain point the social care bodies will have too much portals to work with. This is the moment when the CIO must come with a solution to integrate the automated processes and move every service under the same roof. This is what we call a fully functional eGovernment platform. To realise the full potential of this concept, CIOs must be able to look far in the digital transformation picture.
Transforming one process may catalyse big transformation across the economy
In times where changes happen fast, public finances are concerned with issues such as cost optimisation and efficient allocation of public money. E-government solutions are common means to achieve this. However, the transformation can’t encompass all government areas at once. It always starts with a single process and ends up transforming the whole ecosystem. In terms of where transformation in the public sector starts from, it always starts with the biggest areas of expenditures. These might be: social care and health, food safety, construction, financial regulations, etc.
Read more: How to set an eGovernment strategy?
So if we look for an answer to the big question how to drive digital transformation across all government services, we must stick to the old rule: start with a strategy. Then do things process by process. Make a long-term plan and create a team that will help you achieve this.
Are you looking for an eGovernment platform that will allow you to integrate automated services like case management and inspection management? Contact us.