According to the UN E-Government Survey 2018; building resilient societies relies on higher rates of e-participation and engagement from the citizens.
This is achievable if transitioning from isolated e-government platforms into integrated smart governments is built upon:
- Citizen participation
- Information transparency
- Collaboration to deliver public services
Indeed, the future of government lies in service innovation and improving the quality of life standards based on ongoing collaboration with the citizens.
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What is Smart Government:
Formulating smart government policies and business models to optimize the public sectors’ ability to meet the needs of citizens, achieve economic growth, increase employment opportunities and support the transition to digital economies.
Here are 8 strategic technologies that can shape a smarter government:
1. Citizen Engagement
Communication and interaction behaviors are increasingly being influenced by the fast pace of advancement in disruptive communication technology.
People expect a seamless mobile-first personalized digital experience from any brand, NGO or even the government.
Active engagement of citizens on their preferred channels (e.g.) Facebook, WhatsApp and etc.; will allow the public sector institutions to better understand the needs and behavior of citizens.
Regular analysis of this engagement with citizens will ultimately result in a perpetually optimized digital experience for the public.
Focus on building a relationship with citizens based on two-way communication across any device or platform.
2. Transparency and Open Data
In an increasingly digital world; people are becoming more engaged and making more informed decisions. These decisions rely on credible and verifiable data (e.g.) customer reviews on Amazon. In short; people engage with platforms that are transparent with relevant data.
Involving the public gives them a sense of ownership and commitment towards the common good.
For example; open data standards can lead to:
- Active public engagement
- Trust between government and citizen
- Sustainable quality of performance and service delivery
- Resilient, secure and inclusive societies
- Public service co-creation and innovation
- 0% bureaucracy
Taking into consideration privacy issues, security risks, and permissions; public sector institutions must make all public documents, processes, and policies available for their citizens in any format.
Digital IDs or E-IDs are fast becoming the default form of official identification across the world.
The major benefit of adopting digital IDs is the opportunity to enhance connectivity and service delivery across borders.
Whereas your physical ID card is only considered official and relevant in your home country; with a digital ID you are able to share essential information about you in different countries (e.g.) medical insurance, driver license and etc.
There are still many steps to take towards full digitization in many countries but the potential benefits of E-IDs are apparent to all. Digital IDs give governments the opportunity to provide citizens with secure access to core national services and resources.
Every procedure that required citizens to physically present identity verification and authentication can now be optimized via digitization keeping up with the minimal standards people come to expect: integrated seamless digital experience.
4. Power of Analytics
Knowledge is power. The power to continuously enhance efficiency and performance is available to everyone in the digital world. People and business of all sizes use one tool or another to optimize their marketing and service efforts in real-time.
Governments should be no different. For example; a public sector institution can use analytics to determine which:
- Processes need optimization and how
- Processes need eliminating
- Services can be improved
- Services need to be introduced
- and much more…
The impact that data analytics have on transparency and ease of communication make them more important than ever. The use of analytics at all stages of service delivery allows government agencies to shift from outdated indicators to processes and intelligence capabilities that help make better context-based decisions in real time.
5. Smart Machines
Driver-less cars, drones, virtual reality, advisors and assistance are but a few early signs of what innovation could yet be introduced. Smart machines are basically a combination of digital technologies that fulfill tasks people used to perform.
These are still early days, but the signs give us a reason to be excited.
Advancements made in AI technologies like Machine Learning and Deep Learning are making organizations much better at innovating machines and devices that provide end-users with a more effective personalized digital experience.
Such progress can only be made when public-private partnerships are built and thrive as both addresses public service in an actively innovative approach.
6. Internet of Things
Currently, there is a broad definition of the Internet of Things (IoT):
IoT is the architecture and combination of technologies needed to create, communicate, analyze, and act upon digital information in the physical world. IoT is recognized as an enabler for digital business applications in all private-sector and public-sector industries. Utilizing IoT technologies; the public sector can find a new value for citizens, aiming to enhance capabilities, streamline processes, and engage partners.
But while the private sector leads the innovation race when it comes to IoT technologies; the government limits itself to the typical role of regulator. Governments claim that they are not hindering innovators efforts rather that they are protecting citizens from fast-pace risky unregulated technologies.
Consider that government’s relationship with IoT technology goes beyond regulation; agencies are also consumers and developers of IoT infrastructure and applications.
In these two roles, the government can influence the development of IoT technology, guiding it toward safe, secure, and responsible uses while saving regulation for more necessary areas like healthcare systems and critical infrastructure.
As an end-user and beneficiary of IoT technologies; governments can provide optimized services. For example, pay-for-use or subscription-based taxation models, smart waste bin collection on city streets, and the remote monitoring of elderly patients in assisted-living settings.
Being actively involved in promoting the need for IoT infrastructure development will make the government’s role as regulator an enabling source of support for innovators in both the private and public sectors.
7. Digital Government Experiences
Citizens ask for better, faster and more comprehensive public services. While the government is always seeking to save costs. Initiating digital transformation projects across the governments’ public sector agencies will deliver on those requirements.
Digital platforms save unnecessary costs, reduce effort and facilitate user-centric design which enables each agency to deliver a personalized digital experience.
Platforms can deliver services such as payments, identity management, and verification, reusable application services and notifications, like SMS and email, that are commonly used across multiple domains.
Governments are taking a platform approach to simplify processes, improve citizen interaction and reduce cost.
8. Proactive Security Approach
Keeping in pace with the fast pace of technology innovation goes hand-in-hand with exploring the potential risks and security challenges that may arise. Protecting data and information has become a paramount responsibility of technology professionals in both public and private sectors.
A risk-based security approach that allows public sector agencies to become more aware of current and potential threats is needed to make knowledgeable and informed decisions about risks.
Adopting a wider range of technologies across government agencies supports the objective of sustaining performance and avoid disruption of service delivery due to cyber threats.
Developing a comprehensive government-wide policy that identifies which resources are needed, and which protective measures are deemed appropriate; will boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the various government bodies to thwart any breach in its cybersecurity.
The digital world is teeming with constant cybersecurity risks, it is therefore imperative that governments should identify and implement technologies in a strategic manner.
If you are considering the opportunity to enhance and optimize your governmental agencies but don't know where to start or how to approach such projects; let's have a discussion on how to kickstart your digital transformation.
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