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Developing digital strategies for governments

The Open Group, the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) have announced a collaboration to accelerate public service innovation for better citizen outcomes and improved utilisation of ICT infrastructure.

The Open Group and ITU aim to promote, guide and build capabilities for digital government strategies and citizen-centric enterprise architecture (EA) across the globe.

ITU Secretary-General noted through this partnership, ITU is redoubling its efforts to help governments everywhere accelerate the deployment and scaling up of impactful citizen-centric digital solutions in support of economic recovery and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the necessary guidance and materials, resource-constrained countries will be able to convert digital strategies into implementing large-scale systems. As such, the alliance between ITU and The Open Group will fill the gap between digital investments and best-practice architectural approaches for the achievement of the SDGs.

The Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of ITU noted that using digital solutions and technologies to upscale digital public services is fundamental for supporting the response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that when it comes to designing, implementing and rolling out digital public services at scale, adopting architectural approaches is key. EA allows governments to meet the needs of sectors with varying requirements, while at the same time to facilitate the organisational change process and the modernisation of government services as a whole. Alongside The Open Group, the ITU can create the tools and guidance needed for countries to put an EA approach into action.

The work undertaken as part of the collaboration will be carried out by The Open Group Government EA Work Group. The Work Group will develop processes that enable seamless information flow across various government ecosystems, making existing EA resources — including guides, frameworks, use cases, and methodologies — easier to use.

By providing access to these resources, The Open Group and ITU will help governments build the capabilities needed to implement architectural approaches at scale, based on country-specific needs.

It is evident that the countries able to yield the best outcomes from digital investments are those that have created and adopted a fit-for-purpose digital government EA. This is why, together with ITU, The Open Group will strive to democratise the use of methodologies and tools required to establish futureproofed digital architectures and infrastructures, particularly for countries with limited resources.

Pushing the digitalisation of governments

According to a 2017 report by a British multinational professional services network, digital technologies have the potential to deliver enormous benefits in the public sector, helping governments to:

  • Understand their citizens better and deliver better outcomes
  • Provide services more effectively and efficiently
  • Find new solutions to policy challenges
  • Engage with external partners to develop new delivery models
  • Commercialize some public services and develop fresh sources of revenue

Governments that exploit digital technologies are also in a much stronger position to compete on the world stage, as the firm’s Global Advisory Leader, Government and Public Sector, pointed out. Being at the forefront of digital government is a badge of prestige that can raise the global profile of a country or city and help create an economy that is a magnet for talent, enterprise and investment, he added.


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