The public sector which has been immersed in traditional, paper based transactions is slowly but surely making the transition to integrated digital interactions with stakeholders. The transformation is causing a tectonic shift in the structure of undertakings with the vertical hierarchical approach being replaced by a horizontal relationship as between partners. In no small measure, this movement is being driven by the demand from technology savvy citizens who have embraced digital technology, compelling the public sector to reinvent its business model if it wishes to stay relevant in a dynamic environment.
Suppliers and customers are online, and engaging such stakeholders on platforms where they are present is the way forward for public sector undertakings. Live, online dialogues with citizens would facilitate transmission of aspirations and voicing of opinions regarding the quality of transactional and payment services.
Building Service Excellence
The public sector has access to a treasure trove of data that opens the doors to innovative big data analytics approaches in collaboration with capable developers. Lucid interpretation of structured data sets offers the prospects of streamlining of applications, simplification of transactions, and holistic service improvements.
The public sector must look at involvement of private and third party partners in expanding their reach and supporting their agenda. This calls for an enabling approach built on the bedrock of open source technology platforms, and IT architecture that is service oriented. The outcome will be innovative solutions that will improve services and efficiencies.
With smarter technology, intelligent hardware, digital oriented policy and innovative participatory structures debuting in the public sector, the creation of a smarter work force is a challenge. Infrastructure investment must be supported by manpower skill and attitudinal improvements. Collaboration with private sector partners would ensure delivery of competitive services that accelerate the returns on investment in innovative digital technology.
Broad Spectrum Services
The services provided by the public sector typically sweep across manifold sectors – health, agriculture, utilities, livestock, transportation, et al. Given this portfolio diversity, there is need for a multi-pronged approach to ensure that digital technology investment is not restricted merely to stand alone solutions but also considers the over-arching principles of financial inclusivity, e-governance, wider access to the platforms and direct disbursement of subsidies.
The platform must be welcoming to the most ordinary citizen. Navigation ease, uncomplicated registration process, plain language, language translation facility, and minimum keyboard operations are facets that will encourage adoption of online relationships with public sector undertakings.
The success of digitization is closely linked to reduction of cost for the undertaking and its stakeholders, especially the average citizen. The dual benefits of dealing for services from a remote location and that too, at reduced costs, will prove to be an irresistible draw for the undertaking’s stakeholders.
Long Term Vision
A mature undertaking contemplates a digital technology strategy that is future ready and shuns the single issue resolution approach. The goal should be one of digital interventions that transform the entire undertaking, and enable it to effectively challenge private sector delivery efficiencies and service standards.