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Governments turn to IT to engage citizens

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By 2020, more than 50% of government agencies with direct citizen engagement missions will direct at least 25% of their programmatic budget to 3rd Platform technologies and IoT, according to IDC Government Insights.

To achieve the intended benefits of the citizen experience, innovation will not only come in the form of new digital channels but also as a more comprehensive approach to redefining the citizen experience.

IDC Government Insights has developed the IDC MaturityScape on citizen experience to help senior digital government leaders create a road map to better align the organisation’s mission, operating model, and tools with the emerging needs of a consistent omni-channel citizen experience. The study identifies five maturity stages for citizen experience based on a set of specific vision, people, process, and technology dimensions and outcomes.

Governments around the world are under increasing pressure to improve end-to-end citizen experience, optimize resource allocation, and reimagine the way their employees, partners, and suppliers contribute to service delivery. 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and big data offer unparalleled opportunities to deliver new business capabilities along with the accelerated innovation in areas such as robotics, natural interfaces, cognitive systems, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The challenge for government organisations is to orchestrate such technologies (with employee training) and process changes to optimise the composite outcomes of these and other uncontrollable external factors that result in the citizen experience.

The citizen experience IDC MaturityScape provides actionable guidance to senior IT decision and mission stakeholders who are tasked with ensuring that their organizations are effectively embracing citizen experience. The study identifies five maturity stages for citizen experience based on a set of specific vision, people, process, and technology dimensions and outcomes:

* Ad hoc. At this level, government agencies are managing citizen requests that flow in through multiple, independent channels within the established programmatic, organizational, and technology constraints. The limited sharing of information about citizen requests within and across programs is due to organisational history, legislative constraints, and siloed technology implementations. There are no communications with (or training for) government employees regarding the principles of providing a good citizen experience.

* Opportunistic. At this level, government agencies begin to employ business process automation (BPA) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems that have been tuned to the specific needs and requirements of government to offer better integration of services for citizens and the limited sharing of information across systems and programs. There is a minimum level of communication with government employees and isolated training about the principles of citizen experience.

* Repeatable. At this level, government efforts shift from being programmatic to citizen-centric. To accomplish this, it requires deeper and broader implementation of BPA, CRM, and other systems that results in digitised workflows across traditional engagement channels and back-end systems. This opens up opportunities at the front end for citizens to complete some of their requests within a fully automated process. There is clearer communication and training about citizen experience.

* Managed. At this level, government organizations are able to employ advanced digital, web 2.0, and social technologies to extend citizen engagement and citizen self-service beyond traditional engagement channels. But it also requires a deeper integration of data and processes and sharing of best practices within and across programs to provide an integrated cross-functional experience. There is a government executive ownership of the citizen experience and a formal process for training on citizen experience. Government agencies may also implement a citizen satisfaction survey process to gather feedback which is then used to improve the process.

* Optimised. At this level, qualified data about citizens and preferences is used and integrated within and across channels, allowing government programs to offer a consistent and contextual experience for the citizen across channels that also integrate with private sector programs. Citizen experience is a key component of the government program, and government employees are trained about and employ citizen experience principles.

“Government executives who want to drive citizen value should invest in 3rd Platform technologies and address the organisational change issues that will be encountered, including updating the programmatic mission, shifting and optimizing workflows, and managing legislative expectations,” according to Massimiliano Claps and Alan Webber, research directors of IDC Government Insights.