In the public sector, the future of government services goes well beyond citizen-centric services, or whole-of-government approaches to service delivery and gravitates toward whole-of-life service delivery. Understanding the citizen model, not through a government lens, but holistically, is the focus. In 5.0, public service providers are asking where they can fit in their customers’ lives, rather than the other way around of “where do customers fit in providers’ processes”. The focus is on genuinely understanding the customers (not just citizens!) of the public sector, ensuring the wellbeing of the customers, and delivering seamless interactions with the public sector.
Public sector organizations have a high potential for initiating and delivering transformational digital initiatives. The abundance of data, as well as experience in large scale transformational
projects, should make digital transformation easy. However, there are challenges posed by large-scale digital transformation projects:
– a need for a holistic perspective, challenges in managing sensitive data, and a tendency to stick to well-known approaches rather than experimenting with new ones. Failing to overcome these challenges may lead to failed or misdirected digital transformation initiatives.
Government 5.0 cannot be achieved by individual institutions (departments or government levels) but can only result from overcoming the barriers between them. Cross government teams, and partnerships with other participants in the ecosystem that impact citizens’ lives, are critical. Participants of the ecosystem will move away from just delivering services, to maintaining lifelong partnerships with citizens, where government interventions are an exception rather than the norm.
There are many exciting opportunities ahead for governments to meet the changing demands of citizens in a new era of public service. It is critical that organizations large and small rise
to meet these innovation challenges to ensure they capitalize on the major trends rather than getting left behind and failing to deliver what society needs.
Excerpts from Chair in Digital Economy – Kowalkiewicz, M. and Dootson, P. (2019). Government 5.0: the future of public services. Brisbane: QUT Chair in Digital Economy.
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