The Four Pillars of Cloud Digital Transformation for Government

Published on December 17, 2017 - LinkedIn - Keiran Mott

If it feels like technology is increasing at an ever-increasing pace, that’s because it is. The price performance of computers has increased a billion-fold since the 70’s. So rapid organisational transformation is an imperative to keep up with and take advantage of new technologies. However, a strategic framework must be laid over organisational decisions for technology change. Transformation for the sake of transformation will rarely deliver the efficiency and increase in quality of service that government services need to have, so change needs to built and planned on solid foundations.

Emerging technologies and workplace trends provide challenges to overcome, but can also be used to improve business outcomes. Examples of technology that influence government would be software-as-a-service, cloud technologies, and Internet of Things. Workplace trends, like remote working and demand for Bring Your Own Device policies are equally important to address. Both provide opportunities to improve agency performance and customer experience.

However, all technologies aren’t relevant for all businesses. Each must make decisions on what initiatives to pursue based on:

·     business demands

·     the people they employ and serve

·     their current and future processes

·     the current work environment.

In Veritec’s years of experience implementing cloud technology to public organisations, we’ve found that successful digital transformation for government rests on 4 pillars.

  1. Optimising Government Process – Reducing cost and improving operating efficiencies with cloud computing.
  2. Transforming Services and Their Delivery – Using data analytics and automation to innovate and re-image government processes and services.
  3. Empowering Employees - Providing mobility to work anywhere, any time and on any device, safely and securely.
  4. Improving Customer Experience – Improve services in person and digitally through user-centric design and service delivery.

These pillars are the basis of any digital strategy and transformation. By evaluating where your agency sits on each of these pillars, then mapping technology options to see which would support which goal, your agency has a roadmap for digital transformation. Processes can then be changed or added to speed this process up. Methodologies like agile development can hasten technology developments while also reducing uncertainty. This is particularly relevant to public agencies, as they have to quickly respond to government agendas, customer preferences, global circumstances like natural disasters and cybercrime, and other factors outside their control. 

Operational – Optimise Government

Pillar One: How will the cloud be applied to make systems more efficient?

Outdated, slow, complicated systems and obsolete hardware make creating organisational efficiencies harder. And it’s these efficiencies that allow money and time to be saved and re-invested in tackling challenges and opportunities. So using technology to address inefficiencies is the first step to free up resources for reinvestment.

Technology-wise, an integrated, flexible cloud platform is essential for gaining those efficiencies and making the agency more agile. By improving internal processes and application management, efficiency can become a strategic asset in driving change.

Processes –Transform Government Services

Pillar Two: How will the advantages of the cloud be used to transform old services and offer new ones?

Transforming government services is a result of several activities. First, ensuring that data is available across all departments and outside of the usual interfaces it appears in. Then, having the technology and computing power to apply analytics to that data, automating processes and allowing all government parties to take advantage of insights to offer new and more useful services.

People – Empower Employees

Pillar Three: How will the technology allow employees more flexibility in working from any device, at any time, and from any place?

The ability for agency employees to work from any device, any time, and anywhere is critical for the spread of services across the country. Allowing employees to access information, work with others, and be flexible in their hours means more productive work and better employee wellbeing. At the same time, proper use of cloud technology will ensure that agency data and security risks are controlled.

Products and Services – Customer Experience

Pillar Four: How does your service compare to private companies for the user? 

Private companies set the benchmark that people expect for digital interactions with corporations, so using digital services to automate, digitise and enhance these services is essential. Recognition across all government services and integrated information for cases needs to happen such that public services operate with the same level of convenience, familiarity, and integration with digital services like online chat, that users are used to by applying the most recent improvements in cloud tech.

The Complete Journey

Applying these four pillars across digital transformation possibilities will make sure that more capital is available to spend on innovation, as usual business activities become more efficient and cheaper.

The increasing curve of technology means that Digital Transformation is never really finished. It’s an ongoing process. However, the pillars above are foundations on which innovations and projects can be based. They help guide the strategy in scope, expenditure, and focus, meaning all government agencies work towards the same objectives. They also guide digital projects that have the most impact for the largest number of agencies, and have the greatest return on investment.

The Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Cloud Strategy is due to be released extremely soon. By keeping these four pillars of cloud transformation in mind, agencies can capitalise on the ways to take advantage cloud technology to benefit the agency and the citizens it serves.

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