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Transformation at heart: A new Public Sector

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04 June 2021

The pandemic has affected in a major way the way we live, work, and communicate but as we’ve seen over the past year, it has also stimulated the already present age of digital. The sudden and aggressive nature of the pandemic drove governments to prioritize their digital transformation in order to be better prepared for the future. It is more clear than ever that the digitalization of the public sector is essential and beneficial for institutions and citizens alike.

The newly developed strategies adopted by the public administrations have one clear goal: to drive effectiveness and incorporate economic, social, technological, and environmental changes that will move towards a more egalitarian, fair, digital, sustainable, and secure society, focusing on citizens’ necessities. Special programs are being implemented by governments worldwide such as SICEX (Integrated System of Foreign Trade) in LATAM which aims to reduce import and export process time by half from the current 21 days. Another example is the massive operation of digitalizing all records formerly kept in books of the Civil Registry of the Ministry of Justice in Spain. This operation will allow citizens and organizations to make many different types of requests online. At a European level, the European Commission recently proposed the EU4Health Programme, which focuses on the digital transformation of the European health services intended to address possible future health crises like COVID19.

The different areas and the strategies they use on their journey to digitalization

In particular, in important areas such as healthcare, governments are developing different strategies which will strengthen the digital capabilities. Among the most important areas to digitalize are the prevention and personalized medicine which can be done by increasing interoperability (an imperative need during the pandemic) within global health systems aided by data analytics.

The digital transformation isn’t limited to certain domains though. In fact, a digital government is slowly becoming a reality because of exponential technologies such as cloud technology and AI, which allow the government and public organizations to offer effective and personalized solutions to the Government-to-Citizen (G2C) tier, an essential part of an e-government. 

Cities and rural areas face similar infrastructure challenges when working towards the sustainability objectives set out by the European Green Deal program. In order to reach the objectives of the program, governments can make use of technologies such as IoT, blockchain, and AI to create intelligent transport networks, sustainable and renewable energy sources, effective waste management and many other solutions to mitigate climate change.

On another hand, a more connected and digital world also raises strong concerns regarding issues such as cybersecurity, the democratization of information analysis and cybercrime. In this case, Homeland & Security area  is working on solutions to integrate peer-to-peer blockchain technology, biometrics, and artificial intelligence in order to minimize such risks. 

Another important pillar of social and economic transformation is education. By promoting a STEM approach where learning and development integrates areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, students will develop key skills such as problems solving or creativity. This will help young generations integrate easier into the professional market. In the same way, the employment public organizations present an excellent opportunity to adopt analytics and Intelligence with the goal of transforming and adapting to a new proactive job market while optimizing the decision-making process.

Moreover, government organizations, by including intelligence, automation, and data analytics, will end-up in a more agile and capable budgeting, human resources, and procurement processes.

Digital transformation benefits vs. the main challenges

There is no doubt that digitalizing the public sector will bring numerous benefits. However, it’s vital to cleverly approach the challenges also, by considering the following factors:

  1. The working culture and mindset of the government employees which can limit or even sabotage the digitalization of the public sector. Civil servants prefer to keep working with formal legal procedures, which can be ineffective when planning to create digital products that require informal collaboration across public authorities.
  2. Complex and time-consuming processes which can become overwhelming when navigating government websites. The requirement of creating multiple accounts and digital IDs can be confusing. However, governments can break these long, complex processes into small steps focusing on the digital frontend. It is possible to enhance the user experience by offering more services online, fewer data in forms, and simpler language guidelines.  

Tech solutions that foster the digital transformation

While tech solutions had made their way into all life aspects lately, their crucial role became more evident during the pandemic, especially amongst the public sector.  As the public industries face similar challenges, the use of multidimensional tech solutions helps them significantly in their digital transformation journey. When applied to a substantial amount of government data, solutions such as Big Data will facilitate decision-making, it will increase efficiency, and effectiveness of the user experience. Moreover, the healthcare system will increase care competence and reduce cost by using IoT in solutions like real-time trackers and wearable health devices (WHD).

Another critical aspect for the public sector is to increase trust, which can be obtained by implementing blockchain that streamlines processes, protects data, reduces fraud, and abuse. On the other hand, cybersecurity has been breached more often in the public sector, raising concern at all levels. Hence, the importance of implementing integrated cybersecurity practices is vital during the digitalization process. Cases like the company Suprema exposing the London’s Metropolitan Police users confidential data and Bulgaria’s NRA cyberattack revealing the private information of 5.1 million Bulgarians, are a wake-up call for the prompt and effective implementation of Cybersecurity solutions. In addition, AI is a crucial tool for government institutions to upgrade public services and operations while promoting accuracy, fairness, and stability. Using centralized platforms, chatbots, sensors, and drones, citizens can have more tailored user experiences.

Governments across the world are investing more than ever in a digital transformation on all levels. This digital revolution in a generally traditional industry is delicate and comes with many risks that companies such as everis, with a global presence and knowledge across all industries, can help minimize. We are committed to reshaping the public sector by using cutting-edge technologies and solutions in order to build a more digital, green, and sustainable economy, resulting in an egalitarian, fair, and secure society for all its citizens.

 

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