The way citizens consume public services is undergoing a profound change due to the growing popularity and mass adoption of digital channels. Governments across the world need to prepare themselves to respond to this change with more efficient and citizen centric delivery of public services. More importantly, digital transformation initiatives must go beyond basic automation. They must focus on a 'Digital by Default' approach that fundamentally transforms the way citizens interact with government departments and agencies.
This shift from traditional to digital channels is a win-win proposition for both citizens and governments. For citizens, benefits include better user experience, convenience, speed, personalization, and affordability. Governments in turn can take advantage of lower cost of service and improved citizen outreach.
Digital by Default requires a fundamental re-architecting of how public services of the future will be designed and delivered. It transforms the traditional unilateral citizen-government interaction into a multi-lateral, multi-channel interaction based on citizen choice.
While governments have steadily increased their digital footprint including usage of social media, much of this is in areas of marketing and communication related services. Transactional services including payments, application submission and processing, grievance redress etc. continue to be provisioned traditionally. A departmental approach to digitizing public services has resulted in citizens having difficulty in accessing cross-department services leading to sub-optimal satisfaction levels with public services.
Digital by Default also improves interaction and engagement between the government and citizens, resulting in collaborative policy-making and high-quality interactions across the government-citizen value chain. However, most importantly, it extends an opportunity to transform public service delivery, by placing citizen satisfaction at the center of governance.