Digital government service: the fragmented experience
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Digital government service: the fragmented experience

Digitally-enabled governments, if effective, can save costs, rebuild trust, and even restart conversations with disengaged citizens. A successful digital strategy requires concerted efforts across departments, and thorough understanding of citizens’ digital behaviour and their needs in different life stages.

Challenges facing governments today are highly complex and interconnected. Public institutions, however, haven’t evolved much during the last centuries. Therefore, we have 18th-century institutions trying to deal with 21st-century problems.

Fragmented digital efforts

Being digital is supposed to help governments use resources more efficiently and provide better services. However, as in several cases across Europe, these massively expensive initiatives ended up digitising only some government departments. Departments often offer very different digital experiences, or duplicate their efforts with one another. It causes even more confusion and waste of resources, resulting in a fragmented, unpredictable and irritating citizen experience.

Essential elements of digital government strategy is providing people the right tools to get access to public services and presenting information in a customised way.

From irritation to apathy

When governments fail to understand citizens’ digital behaviour and expectations, people might get frustrated and turn irritation into apathy towards the state. Citizens then have no expectation, fostering a sense of distrust that has been permeating our society. It is one of the reasons for the rise of a new generation of disengaged and disillusioned citizens.

Regain citizens’ trust

Trust in governments has dropped to very low levels in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the USA and Hong Kong. In order to govern more effectively, governments should redesign their processes and systems, using digital tools and centred around citizens. A key policy goal should be interacting with citizens proactively and capitalising on their energy and new ideas.

A seamless citizen experience

In order to stay relevant and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations, governments must be agile, streamlined and tech-enabled. Governments should offer citizens digital access to information and services, increase institutional transparency, proactively provide relevant information and support to meet citizens’ needs, share access across departments, simplify services and reduce bureaucracy.

Collaborate and integrate

Governments need a cohesive digital strategy, which encourages mass adoption and sets the stage for a new and better relationship with their citizens. Collaboration and integration between departments is crucial for a more streamlined citizen experience. This also enables governments to connect with disillusioned and disengaged citizens in new ways.

More than 60% of citizens in developed countries interact with their Government via digital channels.

21st-century governments

The world needs 21st-century governments for 21st-century challenges. Governments should proactively analyse citizens’ digital behaviours and expectations, in order to design digitally-enabled citizen-centric institutions. A well informed digital strategy has a positive impact on citizen engagement and experience, as well as on the reduction of costs.