Skip to main content

Smarter Government

From the local town council to
international collaborations, new
ways of working are underway.


As state and federal governments work to infuse intelligence into their transport, energy, water, telecommunications and other systems in order to stimulate economies and benefit citizens, it begs the question: can the operations of government itself become smarter?

"Citizen-centric"—the evolution continues

"Just as private enterprises have rediscovered their mission and business model by returning to a focus on customers, governments around the world are finding success in reorienting their structures, information technology and policies around the citizens they serve, to create a smart government."
This can range from "one-stop shopping" for previously discrete sets of services to information sharing and collaboration across regions and borders for the benefit of both citizens and government.

At a country level, for example in the United Kingdom and Singapore, governments are educating citizens about multiple ways to obtain services and encouraging them to use the most convenient and efficient channels. At the other end of the spectrum, across an entire continent, Europe has many examples of information shared across departments and programs to deliver service and benefits to citizens. To undergird this partnership, all European Union member states are required to have national legislation in line with the EU's directive on data protection.

Smarter Work for a Smarter Government – Openness, Collaboration and Cooperation
On 9 September 2009, IBM brought together a select group of senior government leaders, generation Y future government leaders, and workforce industry professionals to consider the challenges facing Australia’s public sector workforce – and the potential to harness Web 2.0 technology to change the way Government collaborates, innovates and serves its constituencies.

During the event, attendees considered and debated the characteristics of what a smarter workforce, servicing a smarter government, might look like in the future, and how we might get there. This executive summary provides an overview of the issues discussed at the Forum, with a view to continuing this important conversation throughout Australia’s public sector.

$1: The cost to government of renewing a driver's license online. $8: The cost to renew it in person.

I'm here to help

Anita Malhotra

Anita Malhotra

Industry Leadership - Business Development Specialist

A series of conversations for a smarter planet


Government 2020

This new awareness and collaboration doesn't occur merely by chance or even always by choice. Just as often, it's mandated by necessity.

In its report "Government 2020," the IBM Institute for Business Value identified six worldwide forces that were at work, driving such changes for government at every level. Together, these six forces represent a mix of opportunities and threats. Yet as universal as they are, they require unique responses suited to each nation, region or locality.

Six drivers of governmental change on a smart planet: Changing demographics; Accelerating globalisation; Rising enviromental concerns; Evolving societal relationships; Growing threats to stability and order; Expanding impact of technology.


According to the Work Bank, successful e-government projects in developing countries spend about 10% of their budget on training and capacity building.

World peace through world trade and collaboration

Just as data has begun to move more fluidly between the parts of government, and between a government and its citizens, smarter governments are participating in new kinds of collaboration and partnership up and down the different strata of government, and even across borders and around the world.

A few examples

  • Canada and the United States are working to align security standards in international trade partnership programs critical to both countries. The goal is to link the various international industry partnership programs to create a unified and sustainable security standard that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade.
  • The Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) monitors movements of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and energy products (and other excise goods) between EU member states under duty suspension. The system replaces paper documentation that previously accompanied these movements. Member states are developing their own national EMCS applications, and these systems (PDF,576KB) will be linked to all other member states through a common domain, maintained by the European Commission.