​E-government is so passé - welcome to digital government…

“We are now seeing a shift to rethinking the business of government and linking processes to deliver a digital experience."

Most governments have already picked the low-hanging fruit of single-function ‘fix my pothole’ applications, and will need to stretch higher to deliver integrated, citizen-focused services.

According to global analyst firm Ovum, in 2016 and beyond, many agencies are moving past e-government, automating existing processes, and toward digital government, where new processes of government are developed.

In addition, findings claim that cost-effective end-user analytics tools can make evidence-based policy achievable with agile government IT organisations requiring agile supporting business processes.

Also, citizen identity is tipped to become “critical to seamless digital government services.”

“First-generation e-government initiatives focused on automating existing government processes,” says Al Blake, Principal Analyst of Public Sector, Ovum.

“We are now seeing a shift to rethinking the business of government and linking processes to deliver a digital experience.”

Blake believes that in most cases the technically easy options have been delivered, asking: “Does the world need any more ‘fix my pothole’ apps?”

While ‘evidence-driven policy’ has often been an aspirational goal, a number of technical developments are bringing it closer to reality.

“The increasing availability of massive processing power, coupled with intuitive end-user interfaces and ‘pay as you go’ delivery offerings, puts analytical capabilities at the fingertips of policy-makers and planners that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. This is a real game changer,” Blake adds.

However, Blake says the report also highlights that responding to the demands of citizens and politicians for faster results requires organisation-wide change.

“There is not much point in having an agile IT unit if your procurement, recruitment, and budgeting processes still take months,” Blake adds.

Critical to the delivery of next-generation seamless services is solving the digital identity challenge, an issue closely linked to culture,” Blake adds.

Many countries, with a history of paper ID systems, cannot understand what the fuss is about, “while others have been politically burned trying to introduce such systems and have to manage citizen suspicion and pushback.”

“Countries that resolve that challenge sooner will move ahead of the pack in digital government,” Blake adds.

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