Today more than ever, the South African Government is under pressure to do more with less. The massive changes in the global and local economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and political turbulence, have placed our government in a critical and precarious position. The combination of a looming recession and economic recovery plan, as well as the demographic and technology changes that are creating new and challenging situations, will require meaningful solutions and action from leaders.
While these challenges are daunting, they are our biggest opportunity for change.
Responding effectively to these challenges requires the government to deliver transformational change. Even today, with the significant strides taken with digital transformation in South Africa and the proliferation of government and citizen services from almost every single government department or agency, the hype of digital transformation is still falling short of expectation. If anything, the accelerated public service delivery via digital channels has exposed serious risks and weaknesses in the public service digital structures and ecosystems.
The future-ready digital change that is required will need government leaders to:
1 – Prioritize the citizen, build for the citizen and not the dept or program
2 – Consolidate digitization efforts, consolidate platforms, and infuse eGovernance in everything
3 – Innovate, innovate, innovate
4 – Continuously improve and scale to the demand
5 – Become a valued and trusted provider of digital citizen services
Enabling Government Transformation
Future Ready Digital Change requires a citizen-centric technology approach. It will require citizens to be able to authenticate their identity and confirm that they are who they say they are before engaging with government processes. The paramount shift from eGovernment to eGovernance in Citizen Engagement involves new governance processes, citizen digital identity, and new business models within the government that ultimately drives trust.
How do we, as system integrators and solution providers, serve the public sector industry, support, and influence government with consistent industry advice, cost-saving business models, economies of scale, and practical solutions, so that we all benefit from a better-run government? Here are a few takeaways we share when engaging with our government clients:
Cloud-first Policy with Rapid Process Automation
- Cloud computing as the only viable information technology provisioning model for the future
- Leverage cloud and big data to consolidate; eGovernment conversion to eGovernance
- Accelerate legacy modernization with the cloud
- Rapid process automation. We strongly advise automating, it drives better management, and auditing and removes barriers to tackling corruption
- Service vulnerable groups (in person) and work on bridging the digital divide by using AI in queue management and creating digital identities
- Provide all government services online with low-cost transactional web services. Reduce the pressure in your service delivery processes
- More people means more data. Government needs to be data-driven to achieve transformation. Data platforms and decisioning intelligence are crucial investments that will be a catalyst for the change. Better decisioning = Better government
- Data quality, data integration, and data sharing are vital for knowledge management
- Citizen service transformation is done with citizens, not to them
Government transformation projects face significant risks to successful delivery. Typically, the risks are not related to technology, the primary risks relate to the business and cultural changes needed inside the government to effect transformational change. Key success factors require strategic clarity with a clear vision, strong business case, leadership, and governance for impactful results.