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The Ingredient For A Digitally Transformative Government

Having Australia be a top 3 digital government by 2025 is a challenging goal.

Having Australia be a top 3 digital government by 2025 is a challenging goal. But with the right strategy, it’s definitely one Australia can reach.

The Australian government has outlined this vision in its Digital Transformation Strategy. Initiatives like Service NSW, where increasing digital service delivery by 60 per cent has resulted in a 97 per cent customer satisfaction rating, demonstrate the track record required to achieve this.

It doesn’t just stop at public service either. A new whitepaper, Accelerating Australia’s Digital Transformation, sponsored by Salesforce and conducted by TRPC estimates the wider economy could be boosted by $9.2 billion by 2020 through an expansion of the nation’s cloud capabilities.

Though Australia is digitally mature, we can’t afford to get complacent. International competitors and technology innovations continue to progress at pace, and the government needs to take its transformation to the next level to keep the competitive edge.  

Here’s the three things the Australian government needs to do reach their goal of becoming a world leader by 2025.

1. Put trust at the forefront

The public is more conscious than ever of how their personal data is used. They expect organisations to handle their data in a responsible and ethical way, and government agencies are no different. The government needs to reinforce trust by communicating clearly to citizens about how their data is being used.

As a first step, the government should establish a Chief Customer Service Officer (CCSO), who will champion the interests of citizens, steer the government on how it rolls out digitisation and make sure trust is ingrained in everything they do.  

The second step is real time reporting on government technology projects. Visible real time tracking and communication of significant government technology projects, along with data analytics and predictive modelling, will show the real-time impacts of resource allocation, and help identify the most significant and effective suppliers.

2. Up-skill the public service

We can’t have a fully digitised government without the skills to deliver it.

To leverage technologies like cloud-based customer service platforms, artificial intelligence powered bots, and machine learning enabled data analysis, the government needs to transition existing staff and identify the right new recruits. Public servants need to be the drivers of the digital transformation initiatives, which means they need to be equipped with the skills and confidence to do so.

3. Shake up procurement and cloud certifications

A seamless experience for vendors means more opportunities for collaboration with leading innovators.

Businesses face a number of challenges in gaining a spot on the Certified Cloud Services List for government cloud services procurement. The government should improve the process, removing barriers to accessing innovation from a range of new vendors. The timeframe for reviewing applications can be long and unpredictable.

By improving, simplifying and streamlining the procurement process – which currently lacks transparency – government can improve market competition for services while upholding high standards and security.

For example, once an Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment report is submitted to the Australian Cyber Security Centre, along with an IRAP assessor’s recommendation, it should be listed publicly. This ensures all cloud providers that have received an assessment of their security and suitability of their services have full transparency.

The world is moving quickly, and Australia needs to keep up

From South Korea’s ‘chief cloud first officers’ to Singapore’s Smart Nation program, countries are transforming their services at pace. If the Australian government wants to be a world leader, they need to keep up.

It’s not just about our reputation on the world stage. Citizens everywhere expect more from the government, and by keeping up momentum and seizing the right opportunities along the way, the Australian government won’t just be digitally enabled. It will be digitally transformed.  

Find out more about what Australia needs to do to get ahead of the pack in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in our latest white paper titled Accelerating Australia’s Digital Transformation.

Sassoon Grigorian

As Vice President, Asia Pacific, Government Affairs at Salesforce, Sassoon is responsible for matters involving government affairs and public policy, and works with Salesforce's public sector customers. Sassoon has previously worked for Fortune 500 companies: Microsoft; eBay and PayPal. Sassoon has worked in the NSW State Government as an adviser to a former NSW Premier. He has served on numerous industry boards and associations including being co-founder of the Digital Policy Group, Australia's leading group on digital policy matters. He is also co-founder of Remitt, a fintech start-up. Follow Sassoon on Twitter @sassoon_g

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