Individual government agencies and departments must drive digital transformation within their own organizations. This will involve reforming areas from organizational structure and governance to work processes, culture, skills and technology.
1. Align digital plans with overall vision and purpose
Start by considering the organization’s core purpose. Create a vision of desired outcomes around which all senior stakeholders can align, then assess the role that digital technologies can play. Some organizations start by analyzing their biggest challenges, which enables them to identify and prioritize projects for early digitalization.
Develop a digital strategy and implementation plan to translate the vision into reality. The strategy must permeate the entire organization to break down organizational silos and hierarchies, and promote cross-departmental – and external – collaboration.
2. Create new organizational and governance structures
Be prepared to create entities that are specifically designed for the task in hand. These entities may be responsible for driving the entire digital transformation process, or they may deliver or facilitate particular elements.
Put in place governance frameworks that break down departmental or functional silos to ensure the organization works in harmony throughout the journey. The most effective programs involve senior stakeholders from across the organization who can provide program direction, oversight and shared accountability.
3. Gain support from top leaders
Appoint a senior internal sponsor to give the digital transformation team a strong mandate for change as well as visible support. This sponsor should be a skilled and charismatic individual who understands the transformation benefits and can champion the transition.
4. Design better citizen experiences
Reshape the organization, roles and skills to provide a citizen-centric approach. Use design thinking and customer experience labs to help build services around real user needs, rather than traditional government structures. Identify every technology, process, capability and transition needed to digitize the entire citizen journey and make each touchpoint better, faster and more efficient.
The ultimate goal is to get departments working in unison to deliver a seamless experience. The result: the citizen is served effectively at every point of contact, while duplication and inefficiencies are eliminated.
5. Adapt culture and working practices
Gain employee buy-in by communicating the case for change and the anticipated benefits. Consider using measures such as formal change-management programs, and centers of excellence that help to disseminate digital initiatives.
Ensure decision-making is transparent, and encourage employees’ active involvement in planning, designing solutions and guiding implementation. Allow people sufficient time and space to adapt to new digital ways of working, for instance by rethinking workflows and providing initial and ongoing training in the new digital tools.
6. Optimize IT architecture and processes
Create a more flexible IT infrastructure, based on a service-oriented architecture, incorporating both traditional and contemporary models of infrastructure delivery to facilitate interoperability and information sharing. This approach is both cheaper and more flexible, allowing systems to be reconfigured to meet evolving requirements.
Integrate disparate legacy systems to provide a single view of the citizen. Use automation technologies, such as software robotics, as a cost-effective bridge between big IT implementations and manual processes.
Assess whether the processes themselves are ready for automation or even if they are needed at all. As processes are automated, consider how they can improve decision-making and resource allocation.