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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

FILLING THE GAP BETWEEN TECH EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY

A fascinating brief crossed our desks a couple of weeks ago. It was titled “How to Design the Next Generation of Government All-in-One Apps.”


The first paragraph sets the stage “In the intricate relationship between governance and the citizenry lies a critical juncture where technology meets expectation. . . In this digital tango, common platforms such as apps are emerging as the elegant orchestrators, weaving together a tapestry of trust, inclusivity, and positive outcomes for constituents nationwide.”



This intrigued us and so we reached out to one of the authors, William Eggers, who is executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, to expand on this idea. Following are some of the highlights of that conversation:


  • “We’ve done surveys both in the US and globally of citizens about their digital experiences. There is a real gap between citizen and government leader perceptions. In one survey, 70 percent of federal managers thought that their customer experience (CX) efforts were on par with the private sector’s. However, their customers disagreed, rating public sector CX 12 points lower than that of leading private organizations.”


  • “People don’t merely want faster government service delivery—they want their needs met. But meeting those needs at the speed and scale of the modern world appears to demand a new model of service delivery. Constituents want services that are all in one place.”


  • “Fortunately, we have these examples now around the world where governments are providing best-in-class, customer experiences for huge populations of people by providing a single unified experience that is quick and easy to navigate, while still maintaining control over sensitive data.”


  • “We call this class of tools citizen experience platforms (CXPs) because they represent new areas and new ways of constituents receiving services. Whether they take the form of a single app, an online portal, or mix of channels, these tools share a common goal: to deliver services to constituents more quickly, more easily, and more efficiently than ever before. Ukraine’s Diia app alone allows more than 19 million users access to over 100 government services, ranging from receiving the world’s first-ever digital passport, to registering the birth of a child, to filing taxes—all from a smartphone app.”


  • “This revolution started over a decade ago in the UK, when their Government Digital Services (GDS) unit started working on common platforms that would be used across government with the idea that you build them once and use them many times. Since then, countries like India, Brazil, Singapore, Ukraine, Estonia and others have built on that momentum to create all-in-one super apps that allow you to file your tax return in three to five minutes, get a passport on your phone, or open a business in three hours. That is a huge improvement in the customer experience.”


  • Underlying these approaches is the concept of Digital Public Infrastructure: the digital identity, data sharing and common digital services that make the super apps work. This isn’t a specific technology that governments must buy, rather it’s more like a flexible recipe book. It gives governments the ability to tailor the super app recipe to local tastes, with the confidence that it will still have all the right ingredients to work.


  • The concept of digital public infrastructure is critical to making this CX revolution work in the US. One of the challenges to developing these citizen experience platforms in the US is the lack of a single digital identity, one key to unlock anything, anywhere in government service. Different states have different approaches. But that’s okay. As long as the solution can prove who you are, using authorized secure identity, and work with other forms of identification, it can enable constituents to receive government services without having to tediously login to a variety of government websites.”


  • “And this is happening now. More than 160 countries have launched digital identity programs. The biggest is India’s Aadhaar program, the largest digital identity program in the world. They've issued over 1.3 billion digital IDs; more than 1,700 state and federal government programs rely on Aadhaar to deliver government benefits and services.” 


  • “Data exchanges and common digital services are also key enablers. These allow individuals and businesses to securely and conveniently transact with various government agencies and for governments to share data across different governments. Shared funding models in many different countries are encouraging data-sharing and improving the outcomes of projects that cross organizational boundaries.


  • “The future of digital government has arrived in the form of these all-in-one government apps. The early lessons from the trailblazers provide a roadmap for the US and other countries to dramatically improve CX for their constituents.”


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