The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
Only a minority of government managers in Europe report a sense of urgency ab...
2
The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
Not enough money and too much to do
In a climate of lingering austerity, go...
The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
“There is a huge demand for e-services from the side of the citizens,” says M...
The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
Small steps towards a big change
Despite these pioneering examples, many gove...
5
The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
As e-government becomes the norm, disruptions are not limited to
government...
The challenge of speed: Government in Europe
About the sponsor
Ricoh provides technology and services that
can help organi...
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The challenge of speed: Government in Europe

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Only a minority of government managers in Europe report a sense of urgency about the need for change.

However, while governments may not feel the pressure to change, change is certainly coming to governments. Technology-led change in the private sector has transformed the way in which people expect to deal with organisations, at a time when European governments are facing resource constraints...


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Transcript of "The challenge of speed: Government in Europe "

  1. 1. The challenge of speed: Government in Europe Only a minority of government managers in Europe report a sense of urgency about the need for executives in the public and private sectors conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit. managers believe that rapid organisational change is important. Compared with their counterparts in business, a sizable proportion of government managers appear to However, while governments may not feel the pressure to change, change is certainly coming to governments. Technology-led change in the private sector has transformed the way in which people expect to deal with organisations, at a time when European governments are facing resource constraints. In parallel, change-resistant public bodies are in danger of missing out the advantages of the new paths to improving service-delivery opportunities that are opening up. Fortunately, Europe’s governments can rise to this challenge. AN ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT RESEARCH PROGRAMME SPONSORED BY The challenge of speed: Government in Europe government leaders, as well as substantial desk research. This article aims to offer some guidance to managers in government hoping to drive greater process speed as well as harness the potential of changing technologies to better serve the goals of their stakeholders. from the government sector. The government sample is senior, with 50% at C-level or above In addition, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) conducted three in-depth interviews with About the research
  2. 2. 2 The challenge of speed: Government in Europe Not enough money and too much to do In a climate of lingering austerity, governments are being asked to do more with less. Public spending cuts have come at a time when high unemployment and ageing populations are boosting the need for services. This combination has led many European governments to invest in online services as a substitute for expensive personal interactions. For instance, the Danish capital, Copenhagen, has estimated that face-to-face interaction costs on Heath, spokesperson for Neelie Kroes, the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for Europe’s Digital Agenda. expected to come from the more effective use of information and communications technologies (ICT). In Spain, three out of four administrative procedures are now initiated online. This cuts red tape and delivery online can be found in the UK and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, constituents are demanding easier ways to interact with government. Citizens have little patience for multi-layered, paper-dependent bureaucracies when they have become accustomed to dealing with their friends, families and private-sector entities using computers or mobile devices. In the government sector, fewer executives feel under intense pressure to change: How much pressure do you personally feel to adapt to rapid changes in your organisation? (%) GovernmentAll sectors 2 Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. Extreme pressureSignificant pressureModerate pressureLimited pressureNo pressure 5 19 25 41 43 35 27 3 0
  3. 3. The challenge of speed: Government in Europe “There is a huge demand for e-services from the side of the citizens,” says Mehis Sihvart, director of the agency to agency,” adds Mr Heath. The private sector may have led the way, but public expectations have only risen as a result. processes to use them effectively can foster innovation elsewhere. “Government itself creates new business opportunities when it allows the reuse of its data by third parties in order to provide better, more personalised and value-added online services,” according to Mr Heath. This can deliver new applications, more open government and enable tailored private-sector products and services, he says. “Plus, if you make these online services available across borders, we strengthen the digital single market by removing electronic barriers in key areas of business and citizen mobility.” reducing costs, thanks to a combination of data integration and automation. One example is Estonia, a recognised leader in e-government, which is beginning to deliver public services automatically. “The big change in the last year or so has been that our citizens are demanding automated processes,” This shift has been made possible by the fact that data interoperability is mandated by law. “It is written into the law that if a citizen or entrepreneur has entered some kind of data once, in any state database, the state has no right to ask for the same information twice,” says Mr Sihvart. “The data has to come from where the information was already entered.” This mandate means that data integration is a fundamental principle of public service in Estonia. “All through a legally mandated data-exchange layer. This interoperability has enabled us to provide about 2,500 e-services.” Similar legislation has been passed in the Netherlands, where “it is illegal for any public body to ask twice for information or data that it already holds,” according to Mr Heath. “So it is the data that circulates, not the citizen from agency to agency, or form to form.”
  4. 4. The challenge of speed: Government in Europe Small steps towards a big change Despite these pioneering examples, many governments have been slow to adapt. Worse yet, many seem to think that the change is behind them. Over half (55%) of European government managers polled in the survey expect little or no disruption in their sector in the next three years. This is despite the fact that the clear majority of respondents operate in the last three years—and that digital advancement shows no signs of slowing down. Moreover, the challenge for e-government is only set to rise in the coming years. Within the EU, the Some member states have even greater ambitions. Yih-Jeou Wang, head of international co-operation at Denmark’s Agency for Digitisation, explains: Denmark, progressing to use a digital channel for at least 80% of all written communications between e-government action plan.” Most government executives expect tech-led disruption to slow down over the next three years: To what extend has the government sector been exposed to tech-led disruption over the last three years. What do you expect over the next three? (%) Next 3 yearsLast 3 years Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. ExtremeSignificantModerateSlightNot at all 9 27 46 45 32 23 9 4 4
  5. 5. 5 The challenge of speed: Government in Europe As e-government becomes the norm, disruptions are not limited to government workers but also affect the lives of those citizens who have trouble adapting to a more digital world. The proliferation of available channels makes connecting with the public crucial. At the same time as opening online paths, governments still need to reach the whole population, making their public communications a key risk factor. an area of concern. Ensuring that all citizens know how to engage with their governments is vital if IT-enabled advances are to deliver real value. The real challenge in pursuing these goals is adapting the organisation to Danish public sector’s ability to change. and effective.” This is a challenge, but leading organisations are already embracing it. services. In fact, we see the smart use of ICT as a way of empowering our citizens in the sense that they are experiencing more freedom in living their everyday lives.” As the author William Gibson once joked: “The future is already here—it’s just unevenly distributed.” There are initiatives moving ahead, but too many European governments still lag behind. The way forward isn’t simple, but there are concrete lessons available to those aiming to improve. In the private sector this means customer centricity, but for the government it really is a focus on making the lives of its citizens easier. Getting your internal processes right should ensure ease and simplicity for the end user. The motivation to do so can take legislative mandates, but it shouldn’t have to. public services. In fact, we see the smart use of ICT as a way of empowering our citizens in the sense that they are experiencing more freedom in living their everyday lives.” In which of the following functional areas does changing at speed, without full consideration of all elements, present the most risk to your business operations? (%) GovernmentOverall average Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. MarketingIT 43 45 29 45
  6. 6. The challenge of speed: Government in Europe About the sponsor Ricoh provides technology and services that can help organisations worldwide to optimise business document processes. Offerings include managed document services, production printing, office solutions and IT services. www.ricoh-europe.com Whilst every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. nor the sponsor of this report can accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this white paper or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in the white paper.

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