The Australian government has a key role to play in ensuring the country is an international leader in digital transformation.
That’s according to a report from Salesforce, the cloud computing software company, and TRPC, entitled: Accelerating Australia’s Digital Transformation: Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The report outlines the steps the Australian Government, in the form of policy-makers, public servants and consulting partners, could take to keep the country at the forefront of digital transformation in various industries, as well as in the services it provides to citizens.
Affirming the status of Australia as a “digital pioneer” owing to the introduction of cybersecurity principles and the revamping of the myGov platform portal, the country nevertheless has room to improve, ranking 23rd in the Global Innovation Index. With the government having committed to becoming a “top three digital government”, this report outlines some of the steps it could take to achieve that ambition.
Among the key findings and recommendations is the need to begin on a small scale. “The first obstacle that governments face is the temptation to digitalise as many things as possible and as quickly as possible,” the report says. “Even with a sound strategy in place, doing too much too fast will heavily strain resources. Small wins are more likely to bring key stakeholders on board, rather than complicated large scale projects. An example might be the digitalisation of a key department (such as the Department of Social Services) or central agency (such as the Department of Finance), or the replacement of a legacy technology.
“Regularly consulting the Australian public, as well as public servants responsible for designing, managing and delivering services, helps ensure the quest for better government does not end up having the opposite effect. Guided by real, on-the ground concerns, reviews and consultations can help address the right issues in the right way.”
Another aspect lies in promoting digital transformation in the workforce and across multiple sectors. “Australia must ensure its workforce has the appropriate skills to implement the innovations it champions and deploys,” says the report. “People at all levels of the public service must be equipped with the skills and confidence to become the agents of their own transformation. This will ensure public sector leaders can foster, manage and support digital transformation initiatives.
“The Australian Government has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure digital transformation initiatives bring more efficient use of resources, better customer service and a wider scope of services. The government can also influence the take-up of digital technologies in the private sector through industry and business support measures, most notably for SMEs.”
Going into the future, the report recommends the appointment of a national “Chief Customer Service Officer (CCO)”. “The CCO would be a citizen advocate who could help shift thinking and attitudes, so that citizens are thought of as customers, and government services are built with customers’ needs at the heart,” the report says. “The CCO would champion the customers’ interests, challenging businesses to refocus their people, processes, technologies, policies and data on improving the customer experience.”
You can read the report here.