Public sector leaders face multiple challenges spanning the present and future, says the Southeast Asia managing partner of executive search agency NGS Global, Marianne Broadbent. Vocal in her views that to business-as-usual is not sustainable, Broadbent says: “There is a need for our leaders to think a little more broadly and really be willing to be a bit more adventurous.”
With that in mind, here are just five ways technology is transforming public service delivery:
Putting the people first
“If you look at social media tools and other technologies, it’s giving the individual power over their destiny,” notes Chris Vein, global innovation expert and CEO at Dome Advisory services. This means citizens expect governments to act like any other institution they deal with, delivering real time service, deep customer relationship management and the ability to deal one-to-one when a new service is needed.
“There is a need for our leaders to think a little more broadly and really be willing to be a bit more adventurous.”-Marianne Broadbent, Southeast Asia managing partner, NGS Global.
The omnichannel era
Bricks and mortar will always be needed, but governments need to meet citizens where they are – not where they are expected to be. “The challenge for leaders should be to think about some alternative models, to think about what connectivity can do,” says Jeffrey Tobias, managing director at The Strategy Group. “The opportunity for technology, mobility, and connectivity is to empower us to think of that new business model.”
Big data for better service
Policy and policy outcomes are now being driven by big data and deep data analytics, says Marie Johnson, managing director and chief digital officer, Centre for Digital Business. “Those things will bring about a level of insight and transparency that will drive policy and outcomes in unexpected ways.” Government leaders need to be able to respond to the opportunities of big data and analytics, she added.
Agility, the start-up way
In the past governments undertaking a new technology project would issue a request for proposal and the whole process would take three years. Often by the end of that process, circumstance and technology would have passed the project by. That’s no longer occurring, says Dome Advisory CEO Chris Vein. “We can experiment, we can do user centred design and agile development to deliver new services faster to the community.”
The next breakthrough in service delivery is where the channel adapts to the citizen, and not the other way around, says Johnson. “It’s about cognitive and adaptive interfaces, and it’s not futuristic, this is happening now,” she adds. “We can have intelligent avatars that can interact with a person, immersive technology, gamified content, all of which adapts to the needs of the person. This is the world beyond websites.”