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Economic Recovery Is Digital and Data-Driven

Reopen. Rebuild. Recover. We can all agree on the destination but how do we get there? One critical element will be digital government. Here, Gisele Kapterian discusses why. 

It’s increasingly understood that smart, data-driven governments offer the fastest, most sustainable, cost-efficient route to recovery. Findings of a new Intermedium report further confirmed that key jurisdictions “expect agencies to contribute to economic recovery via the digitisation of their services”.

A year into this pandemic, our daily lives are filled with QR codes, border permits, contact tracing, paperless document signing, and digital licensing, enabling us to run errands, dine out and even travel interstate. These digitised processes are supporting the delicate balance between protecting lives and livelihoods.

Looking ahead, the continued digitisation of government services is fundamental to achieving these dual objectives. Victoria has already implemented a coded traffic light entry permit system that processes applications within minutes, while major events will need additional crowd flow controls and monitoring systems. And in the current circumstances where industry sectors including tourism, entertainment and hospitality will continue to face disruption, government will need useful information in order to support our people, businesses and communities.

Scale that matters

The size, scale and dynamism of the current challenges demand robust digital systems that are fast to stand up and that support iteration. These systems also need to be easy; easy for the citizen/customer to engage with the government; easy for public service employees to navigate and easy for the agency and government as a whole to harvest useful, real-time data insights.  

Ripe for such efforts are online applications for grants, licences and permits. Economic support packages at federal and state level present a clear opportunity for improving the overall experience of interacting with government. From understanding what support is available, to making it easier for small businesses to navigate the licensing and permit changes that have occurred as a result of the pandemic, these changes will assist in the rebuild efforts post COVID-19. 

The benefit for governments is also clear: increased positive impact for the people and businesses they are seeking to assist, and more cost effective government programmes. In ever tightening fiscal environments, appropriately digitally-upgraded grants management systems will help make every taxpayer dollar go further.

Noting the $419.1 million required to consolidate Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers, along with the significant funds needed to finalise government platforms such as the myGovID identity system, Intermedium reiterates that action is urgently needed to accelerate business growth and protect revenue bases.

Pressure will be on agencies to determine how and where they place their digitisation effort … over the next two to three years.

The Evidence in Plain Sight | Read the Report

The data culture challenge

Critical to the success of any economic support package, effectiveness will be a better understanding of the circumstances facing a person, business and industry. What if a government agency could amend programme rollouts, responding to changing variables and community feedback, while that programme is still live instead of waiting months or years until a new bucket of money is allocated? 

Limited data sharing within and across government agencies challenges this vision. This is compounded by a lack of data standardisation across agencies, and limited/no availability of real-time data for proactive decision-making and program amendments. 

A modern platform would improve the delivery of effective support, ultimately leading to greater cost saving for the government and higher satisfaction rates for the customer. And finally, improve government trust.

A time for action

Now is the time for nation-wide grants management optimisation. Couple this with a nation-wide deregulation agenda, increased uptake of digital services and a paradigm shift within government with regard to digital and cloud technology, and we have a recipe to rebuild and thrive.

Find out more about digital government. Download the Intermedium report ‘The Evidence in Plain Sight: Drivers Impelling Agencies to Digitise’.

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Gisele Kapterian

Gisele Kapterian is Director, Public Sector Strategy, APAC at Salesforce. Prior to joining Salesforce, Gisele served five years as political adviser to three Australian Federal Cabinet Ministers, including as Chief of Staff in the super-portfolio of Industry, Innovation and Employment.  Her responsibilities and achievements while in government include helping drive and shape the Australian Government’s tech future strategy, trade components of the Foreign Policy White Paper, and elevating and prioritising digital trade issues, including helping drive the digital trade agenda initiative at the 11th WTO Ministerial. As an international trade lawyer, Gislele advised sovereign governments and the private sector on trade matters, appearing as counsel before dispute resolution panels and the World Trade Organization Appellate Body. She also lectured in International Trade Law and Finance at Macquarie University.

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