​Onus on NZ Govt as digital obstacles continue to hold Kiwi businesses back

“But there are still many obstacles holding us back.”

While governments across the world, New Zealand included, are at different stages in the digital transformation process, the large majority are still in the early or developing stages of their digital transitions.

A new report from Deloitte - The Journey to Government’s Digital Transformation - examines the public sector’s ability to use digital to fundamentally transform services to citizens and offers strategies for government leaders to accelerate the rate of their progress.

The research team surveyed more than 1,200 government officials from more than 70 countries, including New Zealand, and interviewed an additional 130 government leaders and digital experts.

Deloitte partner and public sector lead Dave Farrelly says that the Kiwi survey analysis indicates the New Zealand public sector is slightly ahead of the curve in terms of digital maturity.

“But there are still many obstacles holding us back,” Farrelly says.

“In order for digital technology to really take hold government must be willing to collaborate with citizens, corporates and social enterprises to fundamentally re-imagine their services in a digital world.”

Farrelly says 12 percent of New Zealand respondents assessed their organisations as being in the “early” stage of their digital journey, while 66 percent indicated their organisations were “developing” and 22 percent classified their organisations as “maturing.”

According to Farrelly, this compares to 26 percent, 60 percent and 13 percent respectively from global respondents.

Findings show that 64 percent of New Zealand respondents reported that their organisations have increased investment in digital initiatives over the last fiscal year compared to only 44 percent globally.

But only 55 percent (46 percent globally) reported their organisations as having a clear and coherent digital strategy.

While 52 percent of New Zealand organisations identify that citizen demand is the key driver for services, Farrelly says only 20 percent report high citizen involvement in the design of services - this compares to 37 percent and 13 percent respectively for global respondents.

Capability and culture are also challenges that lie ahead, Farrelly adds, with only 42 percent of respondents believing that New Zealand’s public sector leaders and employees have sufficient skills to lead and execute a digital strategy.

“Ultimately, government organisations that achieve success with digital transformation will be more flexible, adapting to the one constant of the new digital age: change itself,” Farrelly adds.

Read more: NZ public sector ahead of the curve on digital maturity: Deloitte

To accelerate their digital transformation, Deloitte recommends public sector leaders consider the following five key questions:

  1. Do we have a clear and coherent digital strategy that addresses the key elements of digital transformation?
  2. How can citizens and service users be an active part of our digital transformation?
  3. What have we done to strengthen our organisation’s innovative and collaborative culture?
  4. Have we looked at our talent pool and planned where we can upskill our current workforce and/or where our skills will come from?
  5. Are our organisation’s existing procurement processes suitable to procure digital solutions?”

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