You’ve decided to fully digitise your government services portfolio – a task as big as eating an elephant one bite at a time. Your approach is to drive change on the business side. And you’ve taken each of the prerequisite steps and the first 5 steps. Now there are just five more steps to complete this mammoth undertaking.

In your bid to become a data-driven government, you now need to empower the data-driven organisation. First and foremost, you must let dynamic data analytics drive decisions. The aim is to become a government that continuously acts upon information that is derived from a wide range of sources. Succeed at this and you will optimise services and even decrease costs, as early adopters such as Norfolk County Council in the UK have shown.

The next bite of your elephant should be to provide a central information broker that makes sure the right information is only stored once and reused to its maximum by every department. A fine example is the MAGDA system at the Flemish Government that places a system catering to the government’s principle of “you shall only ask it once”, meaning you do not ask a citizen for information you already know and have. This drives quite some efficiencies and quality improvements in using the right data from the beginning. Over time, the information broker can evolve to a process orchestration broker. Again, the Flemish Government leads the pack here with fine examples, like the Digital Building Permit, where the whole process is orchestrated by MAGDA, avoiding data duplication. One request, one answer for the citizen, even if it involves many departments or levels of government to work together behind the scenes.

In addition, the organisation should evolve towards personalised and proactive services. Now is the time to start designing business process flows and service requests from an end-user perspective. The transformation team must rethink the way each service is requested, monitored, evaluated, and granted (driven by the citizen’s point of view, not the organisation’s point of view), and move towards proactive service delivery. A great example of this is the highly automated scholarships process conducted by the Flemish Government Department of Education.

Once the data-driven organisation is established and civil servants are empowered, it must be secured. The penultimate step in eating your elephant is to protect your digital data. The organisation must apply a holistic approach to security, protecting its most valuable digital assets whether they are on-premise, in the cloud, or in between. There are three key pillars to any effective security approach: protect, detect & respond, and recover. A universal approach will be your best defence against an ongoing stream of attacks.

The final step in enabling the digital government is to standardise IT solutions under an ‘as-a-service’ model. You need an agile IT environment to facilitate business transformation – the focus firmly shifts from keeping systems running to accelerating business value. Governments will require a hybrid infrastructure (with the right mix of traditional IT, private, and public cloud), cloud service brokerage, methods to unlock the value of legacy systems, and the flexibility and cost efficiency of on-demand (‘as-a-service’) solutions.

Congratulations! By completing this final step, you have eaten every bite of that entire digital government elephant. Once you have fully digested all of the information from my blog and our white paper, please get in touch. We’re not talking about why we should undertake digital enablement these days. We’re talking about the practical and pressing question of how to do it. I look forward to discussing this with you. After all, you’ve only digested the approach; now it is time for the real action of eating the elephant!