While the technical and legal foundations for successful eGovernment are already in place, many governments are still finding it difficult to implement digital public services into their systems – despite growing pressure from the public. Veridos, a world-leading provider of integrated identity solutions, recommends developing a master plan in order to ensure the efficient, sustainable realization of eGovernment systems.
While there is no one-size-fits-all eGovernment solution, an overarching master plan to guide government bodies towards sustainable, future-proof eGovernment is crucial to its success. Veridos defines five steps essential to such a master plan:
- Define goals: eGovernment services provide the means to accomplish a variety of government aims, ranging from operational cost savings to fostering economic growth – aims that move beyond simply making government processes more efficient. Determining the priority of these aims is key in developing a successful eGovernment strategy. For citizens, the benefits of moving online can be significant, and the provision of digital public services has the potential to improve accessibility and empower those using the services. The governmental benefits of improving productivity and efficiency, reducing red tape and overheads, and streamlining and automating processes are also reasons to consider a prompt adoption of eGovernment services. Countries must prioritize and define the scope of these goals as an initial step.
- Analyze status quo: Government bodies next should conduct a full assessment of their systems and processes, in order to determine where digitalized services are already in place and determine where improvements can be made. What does the current identity infrastructure provide? Are there standards, interfaces, data structures and access mechanisms that need to be enhanced? What are the potential opportunities for cost savings, increased efficacy, security and convenience? This should not be limited to solely analyzing technical aspects – it’s just as important to take a look at the body politic as a whole, including laws and regulations relevant to the digitalization. The analysis of the status quo offers the chance to review existing IT techniques and planned investment measures, to ensure that the implementation of eGovernment services is an efficient, cost-effective process.
- Evaluate potential: By examining current procedures, governments have the opportunity to identify practices that could be streamlined. Ideally, a citizen-oriented single point of contact should be selected as a starting point, such as one application as an entry point for various services. Such a foundation ensures useability and maximum accessibility.
- Establish pilot scheme: The costs involved in launching a widespread digital public service platform are substantial, and a pilot scheme that provides a working basis for future roll-outs is key in managing costs as well as efficiency. Once launched, the number of users for any eGovernment service will increase and drive further innovations, so a scalable system with key performance indicators is necessary to help gauge success.
- Implement: When public services are digitalized, a holistic approach is essential. An IT action plan must be put in place, along with cybersecurity measures that will ensure infrastructure safety and safeguard public trust. In addition, it is recommended to introduce feedback and analysis tools. These help to track success and improve the service offering over time. Besides addressing questions surrounding technical implementation and security issues, the right legislation needs to be in place to enable the introduction of digital public services. In both instances, the need for qualified experts and a push for ICT education and development are vital to a country’s success.
“More and more governments around the world are implementing eGovernment solutions. For some countries, digitalization may already be a part of everyday life, but in many places, citizens have only restricted access to sovereign documents and public services. Yet this access is essential to enable people to exercise their rights in a modern world – be it through voting, taking out social insurance or simply traveling. Here, eGovernment can break new ground,” says Xavier Prost, Global Vice President Business Line eGovernment at Veridos. “An essential aspect of these endeavors is enabling citizens with digital identity solutions. As a world-leading provider of integrated identity solutions, Veridos is committed to monitoring and supporting these efforts together with its partners.”
Here you can learn more about Veridos and ”How to eGov”.