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digital citizen

The rise of the digital citizen and the single customer view in public sector

from  February 8, 2022 | 3 min read

The combination of modern technologies and initiatives like unique digital identifiers is helping public sector organizations overcome two significant challenges — meeting rising taxpayer expectations and improving services with less funding.

Two of the biggest trends in the public sector are escalating citizen expectations and doing more with less. Both these trends cause major headaches for public sector organizations.

As taxpayers increasingly want to be treated like customers, they expect a more joined-up service from all layers of government, with seamless, personalized service delivery via a modern user experience.

The current interaction in many countries is fragmented and admin-heavy, causing unnecessary work for staff while keeping admin costs high and restricting operational efficiency.

Meanwhile, despite dwindling budgets, public sector organizations are still expected to deliver an increased range and enhanced quality of services. Without a reduction in costs, this is a tough task.

Digital citizenship and the single customer view benefits

As government agencies undergo digital transformation along with all public and private sector organizations, we see the arrival of digital citizenship.

And as public sector organizations break away from legacy systems and migrate to modern digital technologies, they can create citizen experience management processes using the sought-after ‘single customer view’ benefits. This lets them treat every citizen as a customer and ensure they receive a seamless, personalized, multichannel experience.

The aim is to improve operational efficiency while lowering administrative costs to enhance service quality across federal, regional and local municipalities.

Unique digital identifiers

One of the ways this happens is through unique digital identifiers — one of Nine Government Transformation Trends in Deloitte Insights’ Government Trends 2020 report.

With a unique digital identity, citizens and businesses can access many services from different government agencies — from paying tax to applying for a drivers’ license — by logging in just once, creating a Customer Resource Management (CRM) single customer view.

Live examples of this include British residents proving their identity online to access government services using Gov.UK Verify. In Europe, the EU Once-Only project has a pivotal role to play in creating a single digital market across the continent. The Nordic-Baltic eID initiative allows citizens and businesses to access cross-border digital services by using their national eIDs.

Estonia’s e-identity program is one of the most advanced national ID card systems in the world, allowing citizens digital access to almost all government services. And its e-Residency enables businesses to access the country’s digital business environment.

“Dramatic leaps” in service quality and “massive efficiency gains”

However, unique digital identifiers are not evenly implemented worldwide. The concept is certainly not without its stumbling blocks, which mostly revolve around public trust, political structures, and data governance legislation.

Yet the benefits to citizens, businesses, and agencies are obvious, says the Deloitte report: “Unique digital identifiers open the door to integrated data and a seamless citizen experience, enabling dramatic leaps in service quality, massive efficiency gains, and the move to a digital delivery model.”

The report adds that Nigeria saved an estimated US$1 billion on civil service staff using digital IDs, which removed 62,000 ghost workers. Further potential benefits include lower administrative costs, reduced fraud, waste, and less friction while interacting and transacting with the government.

Future-focused technology systems

This is made significantly easier with the support of modern, app-based cloud ERP platforms designed for government agencies.

Software built specifically for public sector organizations helps agencies run more efficiently by automating manual tasks to free up employees’ precious time, further reducing admin costs. They deliver flexibility for users to reconfigure systems and processes without expensive IT support, which reduces IT costs. ERP software can aid talent management in the public sector by helping organizations identify and recruit the best people for the job.

The best modern software solutions help ensure citizen data handling is secure and compliant as they come with pre-built public-sector-specific data governance capabilities. And most of today’s systems are fully integrated across a single source of truth, so all data is stored in a single repository, then assessed and analyzed via visual, intuitive dashboards.

Swiftly adapt to change

Today’s public sector software solutions help organizations respond to change quickly, without disruption, while adapting for the future. And the future is all about enhancing how people interact with technology to improve operational efficiency and citizen services.

Implementing modern systems promotes the development and deployment of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, enabling smart government initiatives.

These systems enable organizations to deliver seamless, streamlined, multichannel customer experiences, giving citizens the same user experience they expect from a private sector service provider.

This helps public sector organizations ultimately overcome two major challenges: meeting the rising expectations of citizens and improving services for them.

How Unit4 can help you with this problem

Our solutions for public sector organizations focus on People Experience to help free your teams to do more of what matters: making a positive impact in the world.

Make a bigger impact with people-centric solutions purpose-built for the public sector, with industry-leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) solutions.  Find out more about how these solutions can help you.


What is good digital citizenship?

In an age where we live more and more of our lives online, how we conduct ourselves matters, both for our protection and the well-being of others. So a good digital citizen is simply someone who acts according to this thinking online. They only share personal information when necessary, and they do it safely. Or they treat people online like people, acting respectfully and fairly whether that’s at work or on social media. 

But why is this necessary? Sadly in a world of online freedoms, not all parts of the internet are as welcoming as they could or should be, and the good citizen movement is a step in the right direction to change that.

How can organizations use a CRM single customer view?

A good CRM single customer view will tell you everything you need to know about your service users. This is great for you, but the companies using a CRM single customer view well are those who’ve recognized the benefits they offer the user.

Having all this data in one place lets you speed up service provision, find insights on developing the service for users, and more. It also means when users deal with you directly, they no longer have to wait for answers - everything is at your fingertips, including the solutions to any issues they may be having. And then further down the line, as services use these views to become more efficient, they will also be able to leverage this data to make services even more personalized to the users’ needs.

What is the major benefit of using a single customer view?

The most significant benefit is clarity. A comprehensive, up-to-date view of your users’ information is central to better services, better decisions, and better futures. Having all this information in one place gives you this clarity. This powers everything from real-time decision making, better customer journeys, more accurate planning and forecasting, and increased engagement. All of which are central to reliable services in the future.

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