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Digital Transformation in two Countries, What went wrong? What can we learn?

Digital Transformation in two Countries

Since 1990, both the UK and Australia has been trying to use technology to reform and modernise their public service. Spending billions of pounds or dollars during that time with little change or improvement to their public service. The question is – why? And what can we learn?

In the first decade of the 21st Century, governments have spent an estimate of US$3 trillion on information systems. Between 60 and 80 percent of these projects have failed. This has resulted in a massive waste of financial, human and political resources, and an inability to deliver any benefits of e-government within the public service.

Business Transformation

Business has seen technology redefine their entire way of life. Businesses like Uber, AirBnB and Spotify have all been disruptive, redefining the rules of engagement with the customer, and business in general. These businesses have re-created and reinvented industries. Businesses like Cirque du Soleil, who reinvented the Circus, Yellow tail wines, redefining the customers of wine, mini-mills within the steel industry and the Personal Computer and the mainframe industry. The citizen is now redefining how they want to interact with government. They are using smart devices to run most of their lives now, so why not with government.

Citizen Needs not met

Over the past 20 years the needs of Citizens’ have not been met. The on-line and e-government strategies have failed in transforming their services. Government have only automated existing processes, worst of all they locked in existing practices to pre-internet inefficiencies. In many cases government has replicating in efficient practices, predominantly on traditional paper based form approach. Addressing underlying inefficiencies are usually not addressed. There has been a lack of a long-term vision and strategy for the future of the public service in a digital age. Technology can only reflect the practices it represents. All that technology can do, is provide faster and repeatable processes, good or bad, expanding the benefits or pain. A digital environment provides the opportunity to reassess and streamline, review fundamental processes and practices to remove waste. But it is in understanding what the system if for. Fundamentally most systems are to enable a decision, based on all available data at a point in time. The process of capturing and managing data is secondary. But mostly systems have been designed to reflect in efficient and outdated processes.

Between 2000-2013, the Australian government defined an agency focused approach to their on-line strategy. There was no reference to engaging the citizen and understanding their needs. The systems identified were common services such as payments that could be automated. Many times keeping and repeating processes of the past within the new digital solutions. Common among governments around Australia, is the practice of printing, filing hardcopy documents, then managing the digital records. Adding a further layer of complexity to what is usually a complex process in the first place. Many projects did not carry out true reform, but continued the paper trail. Paper processes are inherently sequential, in a digital enabled business, these processes can usually run in parallel.

Goal of Government

The goal of governments is to drive down costs while improving front-line services. By not mirroring forms digitally, but capture and manipulating the data while on its journey. True transformational change will need redesigning services, lessening and removing unnecessary transactions, streamlining data that will join-up with other departments and the removal of waste. In today’s digital environment, the paper forms and manual processes and the clerical roles supporting them will inevitably disappear from government services.

Using technology merely to put existing forms and transactions on-line has never been a good idea. It continues the failed and socially divisive model. Repeating information and perpetuating paper-based inefficiency. The citizen continually provided the effort with the same information time after time. This is simply because of the lack of business process engineering and the for ever old statement that "this is the way we have always done it". Forms are a clumsy means for capturing data, it then has to be reinterpreted and entered back into a computer and then the form itself needs filing. So where is the efficiencies? How do we change? What is needed?

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com