Climate change and economic inequality were prominent discussion topics at the World Economic Forum's recent meeting. This blog will examine ways governments can leverage private sector-developed digital technologies to provide useful digital services to people worldwide. These digital tools can assist governments in better understanding their constituents and achieving more effective outcomes.
Despite this, with a few notable exceptions, most governments lag behind the private sector in harnessing the power of digital. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently dubbed governments "digital dinosaurs" in a report. Additionally, the World Economic Forum's 2019 Network Readiness Index indicates that the divide between growth in individual ICT use and government participation in the digital economy is widening.
If the government builds a future-proof public sector, it must reinvent itself.
Organizational structures, governance, processes, culture, and mindset, must be rethought of in the digital transformation process.
Additionally, this process entails realizing a broader vision for relationships and business models that will transform public services. Until then, governments will be unable to reap the benefits of digital transformation.
Consumers now expect government services to be as personalized and responsive as private businesses. Governments must reimagine how digital technology can enhance citizens' end-to-end interactions with public services. As a result, policymakers and service providers must place a premium on the needs of citizens. The ultimate goal is to increase public trust in government, improve service quality, and improve citizen outcomes.
People increasingly interact with the government via social media and mobile platforms to report issues and provide feedback. Mobile services such as apps and SMS enable more convenient and targeted access to services. Additionally, citizens are encouraged to use these e-participation tools to contribute to decision-making, policy formulation, budget prioritization, problem-solving, and service design.
Governments can use advanced analytics to better use the data collected continuously from citizens and devices to improve service design and delivery.
For example, individuals who have scheduled online appointments with a healthcare provider may be referred to nearby support groups or exercise classes.
On government websites, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence can complete transactions and provide services to citizens. It can help improve urban planning by optimizing routes for transportation operators, reducing commuter travel time, and providing educational support to students based on their unique learning needs.
Governments must find long-term financing solutions for public services and infrastructure in an uncertain economic climate. With the assistance of digital technologies, new models of service delivery can be explored, allowing for improved resource management through more informed spending and the establishment of a direct link between funds allocated to programs and services and the outcomes for the public.
It is possible to track how money is spent from the government's finance department to its spending department and finally to its delivery agency using blockchain technology. Increased spending transparency can benefit the allocation of public resources in various ways.
RPA enables increased speed and efficiency and greater adaptability to demand fluctuations or backlogs. Routine business processes can be automated with the assistance of a virtual workforce, freeing up time and resources for front-line citizen services.
Predictive analytics and text mining can benefit public resources by identifying taxpayers at risk of nonpayment and initiating preventative action, for example.
It is possible to reduce construction costs and accelerate turnaround times for infrastructure and public transportation projects by introducing new manufacturing capabilities and creating more efficient and cost-effective supply chains for defense agencies.
Governments must reconsider their role to serve as a platform for an ecosystem of partners to collaborate on developing innovative services and business models, including agencies, private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, and citizens. Governments must leverage these technologies to elevate the public good's value.
We are living in a turbulent epoch. The threats posed by rogue states, terrorist organizations, and other non-state actors are growing, and their complexity is exacerbated by digital technology. Battles are now being fought not only on the battlefield but also across various media platforms and cyberspace.
Governments owe it to their citizens to safeguard them against various dangers. Technology can be both a boon and a bane in this conflict.
The more governments adopt and integrate digital technologies into their operations, the easier it will be for cyber attackers to take advantage of these new vulnerabilities. Elections, public services, and civil society can be jeopardized by terrorists, fraudsters, and hacker attacks.
Digital technologies and enhanced data sharing enable more effective threat mitigation. To increase their agility and effectiveness, defense organizations invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, cyber weapons and threat detection programs, cybersecurity apparatus, robotics, and digital tools. Mobile technology speeds up response times to incidents, while data analytics enables improved threat analysis and predictive policing models.
Citizens are becoming increasingly concerned about how their personal information is being used. Governments are now instituting security management systems to safeguard data management protocols on which they have grown dependent.
Additionally, governments must leverage cloud computing to augment their own computing capacity, support secure biometric identification programs, and provide secure payment platforms for citizens.
Employer readiness for the twenty-first century is critical for economic growth, social cohesion, and equal opportunity in a country.
Developing the skills and capabilities of government employees is critical for increasing efficiency, improving customer engagement, and promoting diversity. The public sector has not always been the first choice for top talent in a competitive labor market. Governments must better attract, retain, and develop workers who possess the necessary abilities and skills. Governments that foster a more dynamic and responsive environment will attract younger workers seeking purpose-driven careers to make a positive difference in society.
To foster this type of workplace, the government must allow employees to work on more vital and value-added tasks. Intelligent automation tools can be used with human workers to accomplish this. Reduced manual and repetitive work result in increased productivity and satisfaction, which helps recruit and retain top talent while also improving citizens' interactions with government services.
Agencies can leverage mobile technologies to increase their workforce's efficiency. Because many government employees are required to perform their duties regularly outside of the office, they should be able to use mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.
While governments prepare their workforces for the digital era, digital twins, 3D modelling, automated and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have far-reaching implications for future work, economies, and society in general.
Governments must act to avoid negative social and economic consequences, such as job losses in low-skilled industries and an increase in social inequality.
Numerous pressing issues of the modern era, such as urbanization, globalization, pollution, and water scarcity, can be addressed through connected cars, electric vehicles, smart power grids, energy-efficient buildings, Internet of Things (IoT) networks, and open data portals.
Infrastructure development and upgrade in urban areas with growing populations are top priorities for governments worldwide. Numerous emerging economies require new infrastructure to support growing populations and economic activity, while mature markets must replace aging or inefficient infrastructure.
Years of infrastructure neglect have finally caught up with countries the world over.
According to current projections, global infrastructure spending is expected to reach nearly $100 trillion over the next two decades.
Intelligent infrastructure is viable for increasing value and efficiency while increasing resilience and long-term sustainability. Smart devices, sensors, and software are integrated into physical structures like power plants and bridges.
Thanks to this new generation of smart devices, governments can now manage critical infrastructure more efficiently and effectively, including water and energy supplies, transportation systems, human services, and public safety.
Additionally, governments should work to promote a robust digital economy. The government is collaborating with the private sector to provide enhanced 4G and 5G networks and data centers, high levels of digital literacy among citizens, and promote digital inclusion and secure access to services via digital identification systems.