Although government organizations are well aware that they have to transform digitally, so far they appear to be stuck in a quagmire of political inertia and budgetary restrictions.
Most government organizations have a goal to transform themselves in order to achieve budget and resource efficiencies and improve citizen services, according to a study of digital industry strategies by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Software AG.
Yet they still are lacking a certain digital mentality. In the Forrester study, out of the government IT professionals surveyed who said that efficient use of overall budget and resources was their most important goal – 100% do not have a defined strategy for integration.
State and local governments are traditionally risk adverse; plus budget money is hard to come by as legislatures rarely fund innovation projects, even if the government organization can show a fiscal year return on investment (ROI). More often, digital transformation is a multi-year project and elected officials will be gone by then.
Even when it comes to projects for citizen interaction, there are similar stumbling blocks to digitalization. This is particularly problematic as citizens and businesses now fully expect government information to be readily available online, and free.
Yet, only one-third of respondents who said that their most important goal was enabling citizen interaction through digital channels have a defined strategy in place for digital transformation. And only 33% have a defined strategy for integration.
Their hesitation is looking rather short-sighted, especially given analysis from
McKinsey that suggests that realizing the full potential of digital transformation in government “could free up to $1 trillion annually in economic value worldwide, through improved cost and operational performance.”
In our experience, if government organizations could break up digital transformation programs into one-year strategies and illustrate each year’s cost savings for taxpayers, they stand a better chance of getting through the legislative process.
Even so, many government organizations have outdated and non-digitally compatible systems. If, for example, a city wants a call center to take citizen information and react upon it —whether it is a pothole, a firetrap or a permit— they do not have the back-end systems that can feed into a centralized process.
First they need connectivity; many legacy systems are 30 years old and APIs were not even an idea at the time. Their databases and systems are siloed, and will need to be normalized. Master data management is not in place. There is a spaghetti mess.
Digitalization, and all of the moving parts involved, is a complex task for government organizations and, as we have said, many are simply not ready.
To find out how ready your organization is for digital transformation, Software AG offers a digital fitness assessment which takes about 10 minutes. Once complete this assessment provides clear insight into priorities which can help to maximize your chances of success with digitalization. We will also give you a free copy of the Forrester study: “Energize Your Digital Transformation; Seven Disciplines to Support a Successful Digital Strategy.”