Q&A with Grantly Mailes – Governmental Barriers in the Digital Age Part 3

Posted by (Blog Author)
15th Jun 2015, 11:29am

In the third of four blogs, Grantly talks about how digital technologies can play a role in helping governments can remain relevant in a digital world.


In your own words, briefly describe how you believe Government can stay relevant in the digital citizen age.


For me, digital starts with the customer and works its way in to the organisation. It is a deeply cultural thing. Governments have tended to start with how things were down before, followed by legislation, and then consider the customer. This is a cultural/change management problem and can only be addressed by setting a long term customer service vision for the entire organisation and mobilising the organisation to fulfil that vision. The vision, involving compelling customer experience, must then be locked in with strong and effective governance and a rewards system that encourages and enables change.


Relevance to digital citizens will come from long-term digital strategies. These need strong and consistent leadership from the political executive and senior bureaucrats. Long term strategies need bipartisan support to survive election cycles. Our leaders must understand that “digital” does not and should not equate to technology. Technology is a part of the picture but not the entire picture.


Long term vision, leadership and governance is half of the picture. The other half is transforming business models to better serve customers by reforming business process and the supporting technology.


To meet customer expectations in the digital world, governments’ business models should mirror successful private sector organisations. Business processes are stripped bare of activities that create friction and cost. But business process reforms alone don’t create compelling customer experiences. Technology platforms are evolving rapidly from systems of record to systems of anticipation. That evolution involves the judicious use of data to anticipate customer needs and to better engage them in the services we provide.


Finally, state-based service organisations are helping resolve irregular consumer transactions such as motor car registration. That is the right thing to do. But if the question is “how do we use digital business models to make citizens’ lives better?”, Service <insert your state here> is not the game changer. Using an effective online booking system like Open Table to replace a 30 minute call to make a medical appointment will have more of an impact.


This is another edition in the series of Q&A sessions with business leaders and experts. If you missed part 2 of Grantly's blog on how digital technologies can play a role in helping governments to engage the public and also to improve the efficiency of government operations click here, otherwise keep an eye out for the the final part of the blog Q&A. 


Optus Business would like to thank Grantly Mailes for his time. If you'd like to know more about Grantly, please follow him at @grantlymailes.


All views expressed are those of the author.



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