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Digital Transformation - How It Applies To The Public Sector

Digital Transformation - How It Applies To The Public Sector

25 days ago By Emily Harris
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Did you know? ​

According to Salesforce’s 2020 report State of the Connected Customer, 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as the product or service it offers. They also expect organisations to know them better, and to use this knowledge to further improve experiences, with 66% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs and expectations[1] (Salesforce, 2020). ​These heightened expectations are not just restricted to the commercial world. Organisations across the public sector are now facing increasing pressure to meet the needs of digitally literate and highly demanding citizens, by transforming services (services that have often been in place within government agencies for decades prior). This pressure is intensified when you consider that the federal government has pledged to have all its services available digitally by 2025, enabling Australians to deal with government anywhere and on any device[2] (Burton, 2021).​ 

 This plan was outlined in the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Transformation Strategy 2018-2025. And in the last two years, the Australian Government has made progress on this goal, with the pandemic and COVID restrictions meaning that many organisations were forced to develop and adopt flexible working and remote working practices. According to the most recent Australian Public Service Employee Census, 46% of respondents engaged in flexible working or hybrid working practices in 2021, compared to the 22% in 2019[3] (Australian Public Service Commission, 2021). However, facilitating remote work is only one part of the bigger transformational puzzle. 

​So, for government agencies currently trying to overhaul or improve their digital services, what are the challenges to be aware of? And how can organisations ensure their transformation remains citizen-centric? Unfortunately, for government agencies, digital transformation isn’t as easy as it is for its private sector counterparts. This is because the nature of the public sector poses some unique challenges. One of the biggest is that any digital strategy government agencies invest in must meet the government’s strict security and compliance requirements to protect confidential organisational and constituent data. 

The Key Issues To Consider ​

How Will New Technology Integrate With The Agency’s Existing Legacy Systems?

While there might seem like there are endless technology solutions available, it’s important that government departments assess potential solutions based on how well they will integrate with the current systems the department has in place. Failing to do so may result in a costly overhaul of more technologies or processes than originally planned, just to ensure that the two software solutions will ‘talk’ to each other or to ensure the new solution will work without impacting existing systems.

Will Security Be Impacted?

Cybersecurity is one of the highest priorities for governments when it comes to assessing new digital solutions. Government departments must ensure that every vendor and solution they implement as part of their digital transformation journey adheres to strict department and government regulations to protect confidential and sensitive data. It’s essential that departments engage with vendors and solutions that demonstrate how they can meet compliance needs.

What Is Your Budget?

It’s essential that departments make cost-effective choices when it comes to digital transformation. Budgets across departments are very regimented and going over budget has a number of far-reaching consequences including intense scrutiny from the Australian public. This doesn’t only mean that the upfront cost should be affordable; government departments must also consider the long-term costs and any third-party providers required to support deployment and ongoing maintenance of the solutions.

Is The Solution People-Centric?

One of the most important factors of digital transformation – especially in the current environment – is that it is human-centered. This is especially important for digital services within the public sector that serve or interact with the Australian public. Local communities these government agencies are serving are at the heart of the process, so it’s important that when organisations seriously weigh up any solution they consider how well it incorporates a user-centred design (UCD) that allows for the customer (citizen) experience to be as easy and effective as possible. For example, ensuring that the user doesn’t have to constantly fill in multiple forms or provide the same data again and again across multiple services, rather than the government service prefilling the data and enabling customers to verify its accuracy after they’ve completed the form the one time. 

Do You Have Resources?

In addition to the technological resources that are required for a digital transformation, these need to be directed, managed and overseen by the right people. This is why many organisations need to consider if they have enough resources to manage their digital transformation, or if hiring additional talent might be part of their overall digital strategy. It’s an important consideration, because no matter how great the technological solution is that an organisation has developed if there aren’t enough people or the right people to manage its implementation, the training of the new systems etc. these technologies will be useless. 

For those organisations who are currently implementing new digital systems within their team or department, or considering it and looking for additional staff to help support this process our resident IT consultant Cheri Randell is happy to help. For more information or for a confidential chat about your business needs, you can contact Cheri at:

0466 699 297 

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[1] Salesforce. (2020). State Of The Connected Customer. Salesforce – ANZ. Retrieved from:

[2] Burton, T. (2021). All Federal Government Services To Be Online By 2025. Australian Financial Review. Retrieved from:

[3] Australian Public Service Commission. 2021. State Of The Service Report. Australian Government. Retrieved from:

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