How Do You Eat That [Digital Government] Elephant?

The way to eat an elephant, as we all well know, is one bite at a time. These days, government discussions should have shifted beyond the question of why undertake digital enablement to the practical and pressing question of how to do it.

Based on many case studies and best-practice experience, our new white paper contains a clear and proven set of steps – a veritable roadmap to help you eat that digital government elephant. We address how to approach the elephant in the most efficient way and how to avoid indigestion during such a large-scale project.

Our white paper serves up drivers for the government initiative of digital enablement and presents a roadmap for how to achieve these drivers. There are two main dimensions of the dish to contemplate – the internal dimensions of cost optimization and a lower administrative burden, and the external dimensions of improving the citizen relationship and increasing service quality.

With the right digital solutions in place, governments can simplify processes, reuse data over different policy domains, declutter and streamline legislation, and eliminate low-value repetitive civil service tasks through automation, which frees these people up to focus on high-value knowledge- and expertise-based activities. All of this ensures a lower cost per transaction. I have seen it happening in many governments, especially the Flemish Government – this fine example demonstrates the approach brings enormous value, and I will explain how it happened.

In addition, the right digital solutions can achieve a single decision structure and optimized workflows. They can establish an identical baseline of applications for all. And effort is correctly directed to configuration instead of programming. Together, these benefits reduce the administrative burden.

When citizens are able to access aligned government channels and they start to receive more focused and personalized messages from government, their trust begins to build. And this is amplified when governments begin using the same tools that ordinary people use to communicate and collaborate. As the government starts embracing the digital age and possibilities in a consistent way, citizens will welcome new individualized, proactive and personalized services, and believe that their government really does understand their wants and needs.

Citizen trust will continue to build as service quality increases. A government with the right digital solutions is process-workflow driven and can support quick startups via a standard business process workflow. The digitally enabled government will reply faster to citizens and will deliver proactively.

Skipping this meal simply isn’t an option anymore. Governments around the world are sitting down at the table, planning a roadmap to fully digitize their services portfolio. In my next blog, I’ll take a look at the recipe for success – Planning Your Elephant Feast: An Effective Digital Government Approach and present the first part of a roadmap on how to achieve this.

Click here to read the 10 Steps Toward a Digital Government white paper.

Yves Vanderbeken is a Hewlett Packard Enterprise account chief technologist and lead enterprise architect for the Flemish government and local governments (Flanders). Since 2011, Vanderbeken has been a core team member of the Flemish government’s Open Data team. He defined the technical strategy for setting up the Open Data platform and extracting, transforming, and publishing information in a consistent manner. He is the co-author of the Open Data Handbook published by the Flemish Government in February 2014. Vanderbeken coaches and advises various departments on their Open Data Master Plan and how to disclose data from their source systems to the Open Data platform, ensuring data quality and consistency across data sets.



Author: Yves Vanderbeken

Author: Yves Vanderbeken