The new challenges of government's digital transformation

Tue 22 Jan 2019

The digital transformation of governments has been gaining speed for more than twenty years, owing primarily to the massive adoption of ICTs. The initiatives to improve relations and services provided to citizens, businesses and government agencies are growing in number. They are furthermore aimed at optimizing the costs of public services, reforming administrative processes, making them more transparent and improving and promoting new, more inclusive socio-economic models.

Multiple innovative services have been developed in the fields of e-administration, e-education, e-employment, e-health, e-environment and social e-protection. Some e-services have brought about a real revolution, such as electronic payment, which has transformed the lives of millions of people in Africa by enabling them to enjoy financial services which the majority of them were previously unable to access.

Governments, citizens, and private partners are interacting and cooperating to build the digital city of tomorrow, by maximizing the use of new technologies and injecting smart services at all levels.

Digital technology is, through all the above, becoming a powerful driver of change for governments and companies, and implying a transformation in existing organizations: decompartmentalization, overhauled company processes, and the use of agile working tools and methods as the standard. It implies a number of new challenges, which are now ours to take up:

  • Determining a legal framework conducive to the development of the digital economy
  • Establishing interoperability between all government entities
  • Implementing strong cooperation with private players and setting out appropriate «Public Private Partnership» models
  • Building a trust relationship with citizens and businesses, through e-services that guarantee security and protection for personal data
  • Digitizing the «citizen journey» so as to enable omnichannel communication (web, mobile, agency) and administrative processes available to users via multiple channels, while preserving the history of interactions and changes therein
  • Empowering citizens more and enabling them to take part in shaping and tracking the undertakings of their city and region.
  • Wisely choosing the technologies used to develop the platformization of efficient and innovative e-services.

The challenges are therefore numerous and the success of the digital transformation of governments depends strongly on the completeness and the coherence of the transformation program associated to the defined digital strategy, the governance of its implementation and inherent change management

Samia Bendali-Amor

Director of the IT Consulting and Services Department of Sofrecom