digital citizen

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

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.

The digital citizen and the single customer view

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

And as public sector organizations break away from legacy systems and migrate to modern digital technologies, they are able to create the sought-after ‘single customer view‘ — where every citizen is treated as a customer and they receive a seamless, personalized, multichannel experience.

The aim here 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 is happening 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 single customer view.

Live examples of this include British residents being able to prove 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 around the world, and 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 and waste, as well as less friction while interacting and transacting with 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 that’s specifically built for public sector organizations help agencies run more efficiently by automating manual tasks to free up employees’ precious time, which further reduces admin costs. They deliver flexibility for users to reconfigure systems and processes without the need for expensive IT support, which reduces IT costs.

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.

The implementation of modern systems promotes the development and deployment of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, and they enable 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.