Reimagining Democratic Governance in the Digital Era

By Kirsten Oelrich 3 min read

Few developments have had greater consequences for the public sector than the introduction of digital technology. Widely regarded as the last bastion of the pre-digital era, the public sector today is abandoning legacy systems to adapt to the new wave of citizen expectations.

For advocates of government reform, this is merely a foretold prophecy. For years, they predicted the digital transformation that’s currently unfolding in the public sector. Today, digitization is not a ‘nice-to-have’ anymore and digital technologies are fundamentally reinventing government processes and democratic systems.

But the challenges before governments are significant. Citizens expect more than a transactional engagement and government agencies must be prepared to deliver seamless experiences through consolidated IDs, digitally available information, and frictionless omni-channel presence. To deliver Amazon-like experiences to the new generation of hyper-connected citizens, governments must also ensure operational excellence and efficiency. And as citizen expectations continue to rise, governments must also keep a close watch on demographic shifts and fiscal pressures.

The opportunities for governments are unparalleled. Digital technologies can disrupt traditional slow-paced public services, redefine regulation and make governments more efficient, open and accountable. Digital innovation puts citizens at the center of the modern state and makes it possible to deliver services with high levels of operational excellence and efficiency with cost-effective processes.

How can government agencies use digital technology to increase service efficiency and meet citizen expectations?

Thinking digital is the first step to ensuring faster and smoother service delivery. Here are 4 critical areas governments must address to reimagine governance in the digital era:

1. Mobile-first experience

Citizens want to use their mobile devices to access services on the go, from submitting applications to accessing information. A mobile government provides localized services that add value to the user, such as sending road condition updates or creating a specialized mobile app that allows users to prepare for their driver’s license test. Full integration with online services is key for a seamless citizen experience.

2. Omni-channel presence

Citizens are used to accessing services on any device at any time. By enhancing multi-channel capabilities, governments can provide services through various channels, including mobile, website, branch, phone and even watches. Applications can be started and fulfilled on different channels. This approach also helps foster trust and encourage digital adoption.

3. Data-driven processes

Citizens tell us they’re willing to share their tombstone data across ministries and levels of government to get customized services. Governments can use customer data and public service metrics to make better decisions and spend time where it matters by providing the right services to the right people at the right time.

4. Cybersecurity & privacy

Governments have critical information on their servers, and the amount of information will continue to grow in the digital world. Today, risk is increasing and cyber-attack incidents are becoming more frequent. Protecting data and reassuring citizens that their data is secure are critical and will help enhance trust across your network.

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Kirsten Oelrich

Written By

Kirsten Oelrich