The way to eat an elephant, as we all well know, is one bite at a time. These days, government discussions should have shifted beyond the question of why undertake digital enablement to the practical and pressing question of how to do it.

Based on many case studies and best-practice experience, our new white paper contains a clear and proven set of steps – a veritable road-map to help you eat that digital government elephant. We address how to approach the elephant in the most efficient way and how to avoid indigestion during such a large-scale project.

Our white paper serves up drivers for the government initiative of digital enablement and presents a road-map for how to achieve these drivers. There are two main dimensions of the dish to contemplate – the internal dimensions of cost optimisation and a lower administrative burden, and the external dimensions of improving the citizen relationship and increasing service quality.

With the right digital solutions in place, governments can simplify processes, reuse data over different policy domains, declutter and streamline legislation, and eliminate low-value repetitive civil service tasks through automation, which frees these people up to focus on high-value knowledge- and expertise-based activities. All of this decreases cost per transaction. I have seen it happen with many governments, especially the Flemish Government – this fine example demonstrates that the approach brings enormous value, and I will explain how it happened.

In addition, the right digital solutions can lead to a single decision structure and optimised workflows. They can establish an identical baseline of applications for all. And the effort is correctly directed to configuration instead of programming. Together, these benefits reduce the administrative burden.

When citizens are able to access aligned government channels and they start to receive more focused and personalised messages from the government, their trust begins to build. And this is amplified when governments begin to use the same tools that ordinary people use to communicate and collaborate. As the government starts to embrace the digital age and possibilities in a consistent way, citizens will welcome the new individualised, proactive and personalised services, and start to believe that their government really does understand their wants and needs.

Citizen trust will continue to rise as service quality increases. A government with the right digital solutions is process-workflow driven and can support quick startups via a standard business process workflow. The digitally enabled government will reply to citizens faster and will deliver results proactively.

Skipping this meal simply isn’t an option anymore. Governments around the world are sitting down at the table, planning a road-map to fully digitise their services portfolio. In my next blog, I’ll take a look at the recipe for success – Planning Your Elephant Feast: An Effective Digital Government Approach and present the first part of a road-map on how to achieve this.