Digitization of govt services brings wide benefits, says Accenture
Accenture reports suggest economic benefits, better citizen satisfaction from digital services
Digitalization of public sector services could bring major benefits to governments in terms of reduced costs and engagement with citizens, according to new research from Accenture.
The consulting company discussed the results of a new report, Digital at Depth: Digital Technologies at the Heart of Public Service Transformation during the third annual Government Summit held in Dubai today.
Accenture said that digital transformation of services can have a positive impact on a country's economy, competitiveness, innovation and its citizens. The company said that a digitally enabled government could reduce back-office costs up to 45%, while a 1% increase in digitalization can mean a 0.5% gain in Gross Domestic product and a 1.9% gain in international trade. A 10% increase in digitalization could translate to a 0.86% drop in a country's unemployment rate.
A digitally enabled government could also reduce back-office costs by up to 45%.
Bernard le Masson, global management consulting lead for Accenture's Health & Public Service business commented: "Governments have the opportunity to drive true public service transformation through digital technologies. We are at a pivotal juncture. Digital is more than a way to keep up with savvy citizens or streamline processes. It is a transformational tool that can be used to deliver public services of the future."
Masson also noted that digital services, which could benefit from technologies used in private sectors such as banking, commerce and shopping, are also necessary for governments to be able to keep up with the demands of digital natives, the next generation who have come to expect online services.
The Digital at Depth report also identified six characteristics of leading digital governments, including engaging and motivating citizens to participate; collaboration with the private sector in innovative ways to develop new models of service delivery; adoption a disruptor approach to change institutions and services; creating an entrepreneurial and performance-driven workforce; using big data and analytics to create insight driven services; and creating services based on reliable, robust, secure and always on infrastructure.
"A government, at any level, that instills these characteristics, all enabled by digital at depth, will truly be transformative. Governments can build common digital platforms and play the role of partner, convener or facilitator, driving benefits for administrators, businesses and citizens," said Dr. Majid Altuwaijri, lead for Accenture's Health & Public Service business in the Middle East.
Accenture also released the results of a global survey into citizen's current levels of digital engagement, the current state of service offerings and use and interest in additional services. The 2015 Digital Citizen Pulse Survey showed that nine in ten citizens said that improved digital services would positively impact their view of government. Nearly 95% of UAE respondents would describe their government as forward-looking if improved digital services were provided and 92% said digital services would increase their willingness to engage with government.
Only 11% of UAE citizens are dissatisfied with digital public services, citing technology issues and a lack of awareness as the main factors preventing them from increasing their use of digital services.