Industry Insights

Improving citizen experience through digital transformation: 2016 post-election reflections

Each day, government agencies interact with millions of citizens – veterans, students, taxpayers, immigrants – to accomplish their core missions. Today, where the “last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere”[1] and technology forces create new experiences and disrupt operational models, it’s critical for government organizations to re-think how they enable and deliver mission outcomes. Only 3 percent of people interact with U.S. federal government agencies digitally and only 17 percent of the 438 federal agencies have a digital app.[2] It’s time for the digital reinvention of government that will transform service delivery and citizen interaction.

The digitally transformed organization of the future not only makes smart technology investments, it changes its culture by challenging outdated processes, uses fresh insights to make decisions and applies a user-focused lens to every facet of its mission. For government, the new digital culture is one in which citizens can engage in new ways to help frame policies, shape programs, share information, and receive services.

The White House in Washington, D.C., USA

IBM has identified eight characteristics of organizations that are thriving in this age:

  • Persona-Centric: These organizations create differentiated experiences for all users – citizens, employees, and constituents.
  • Strategically Agile: They apply agile, iterative principles across the enterprise, and they are consistently learning, refreshing and improving.
  • Sustainably Resilient: Perceptive organizations know that in today’s data-driven, highly distributed world, there are serious threats that cannot be ignored or underestimated. The successful digital organization is focused on safeguarding against both the threats of yesterday and those of tomorrow.
  • Actionably Insightful: These organizations capture, analyze and employ data effectively to uncover valuable insights, make decisions, and optimize performance to ensure that they deliver necessary mission outcomes.
  • Responsively Operational: Thriving organizations use digital principles and tools to improve their operations, services and processes. By creating an environment that provides real-time feedback, views processes as necessary to the entire ecosystem and applies automation and lean principles, these organizations continuously uncover ways to improve performance.
  • Access-Empowered: Mobility and accessibility are key enablers of a digitally savvy organization. Whether delivering services to customers or managing their workforce, successful organizations empower end-users by providing multiple mobile-enabled channels for anytime, anywhere access to information, transactions and feedback.
  • Eco-Systematically Orchestrated: Given the connected nature of today’s digital ecosystem, successful organizations consider how their missions may evolve – and thus, how they’ll respond. To develop a digital ecosystem that can address rapid changes, these organizations explore new, innovative partnerships and incorporate new technology solutions that keep them nimble and flexible to continue to achieve their mission.
  • Dynamically Talent-Driven: The digitally transformed organization identifies and retains top-notch talent – and keeps them challenged, engaged and growing to meet the needs of the mission. The culture encourages knowledge sharing, virtual environments and flexibility.

To truly transform government, the Trump administration should focus on these characteristics in the context of improving the citizen experience. Creating citizen-centric, actionable plans and solutions is vital to accomplishing necessary change. IBM offers the approaches, solutions, and consulting services that enable organizations to begin and progress on the digital transformation journey.

Regardless of political affiliation and climate, we cannot go wrong by focusing on improving the citizen experience. And, regardless of politics, we likely can all agree that it’s time for a digital reinvention of the ways in which government and its constituents interact.

To learn more about IBM’s views on digital transformation, visit the IBM Institute for Business Value.

To learn more about our research and publications on new approaches to improving the effectiveness of government, visit the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

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