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The challenges of delivering citizen centric services

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  • 1. > futureGOV RESEARCH > futureGOV RESEARCH > futureGOV RESEARCH The Challenges of delivering CiTizen-CenTriC serviCes A survey of 110 public sector executives in Hong Kong and Singapore SponSored by TIbCo March 2010
  • 2. © 2010 FutureGov research. All rights reserved. All information in this report is verified to the best of the author’s and the publisher’s ability. However, FutureGov research does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it. neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of FutureGov research.
  • 3. PrefaCe The Challenges of Delivering Citizen-Centric Services is a FutureGov research whitepaper, sponsored by TIbCo Software Inc. The views may not necessarily reflect those of the sponsor. This report was researched, written and prepared by the FutureGov team. The principal contributors were Tim Hill, dennis posadas, Chris White and ran elfassy. The cover was designed by patrick Schulze our sincere thanks go out to all those that contributed their time to the survey and the interviews.
  • 4. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV TABLE OF CONTENTS RESEARCH ABSTRACT 3 > futureGOV u u EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4 RESEARCH u INTRODUCTION 6 u RESEARCH DEMOGRAPHICS 7 u STUDY RESULTS 8 u CHALLENGES FROM GROwING DEMAND 15 » demand for workflow automation software 16 u CONCLUSION 20 1 I 20
  • 5. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV TABLE OF FIGURES RESEARCH > futureGOV Figure 1 - Job roles of survey respondents. 7 Figure 2 - Is there a need for workflow connectivity across GOAs? 8 RESEARCH Figure 3 - Frequency of sharing and transferring of information across GOAs in 9 response to requests for government services. Figure 4 - Degree of interaction with other GOAs. 9 Figure 5 - Will there be an increase in variety of information shared across GOAs in 10 response to requests over the next 5 years? Figure 6 - Respondents already using online/real-time methods for file sharing/transfer. 11 Figure 7 - Respondents who use traditional/offline methods for file sharing/transfer. 11 Figure 8 - Is there automation at point of interaction between your agency and the public? 12 Figure 9 - Does your agency already manage an increasing diversity of communication 12 channels when processing requests? Figure 10 - Does your agency use software tools to process requests and manage 13 agency interactions? Figure 11 - Does your agency use automated approval systems? 13 Figure 12 - Do your agency plan on automating the approval process? 14 Figure 13 - Do other GOAs have more in-house systems for real-time visibility of 15 data/information than in your agency? Figure 14 - Do your in-house systems have more real-time visibility of data/information 16 than at other GOAs? Figure 15 - Use of workflow automation software, by country. 16 Figure 16 - Use of diverse channels to manage interactions, by country. 17 Figure 17 - Use of software tools for processing requests, by country. 17 Figure 18 - Degree of workflow automation, by country. 18 Figure 19 - Degree of approvals for requests that are automated, by country. 18 Figure 20 - Expected growth in the diversity of shared/transferred information across 19 GOAs, by country. Figure 21 - Perception of difficulties to changes in IT systems, by country. 19 2 I 20
  • 6. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV absTraCT In this study, 54 Hong Kong and 56 Singaporean civil-service IT RESEARCH managers were surveyed regarding the volume of requests for information, the extent to which their agencies shared information > with others, the use of workflow-automation software, the features that their governmental organisations and agencies relied on, and the future direction of information sharing and interconnectivity in futureGOV RESEARCH relation to serving the public. respondents were initially contacted by FutureGov research through both email and traditional mail channels. participants were invited to complete an online questionnaire that was hosted on the FutureGov website in January and February 2010, reminders were sent to those who had not responded to the initial contact. A total of 110 responses were received before the survey was closed in February 2010. 3 I 20
  • 7. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV exeCuTive summary Global trends around information sharing are leading toward increased RESEARCH workflow connectivity. Similar to the multinational enterprise that needs to work across plants or international borders, so too are > governmental organisations and agencies (GoAs) finding that they must better share information and resources across departments and ministries. Although Information sharing between GoAs and futureGOV RESEARCH departments in developed nations is generally well managed, the expected increase in the variety of information being shared is already raising concerns. Moreover, the growing automation seen at the first point of contact, where the public meets the government, coupled with the expanding channels of communication increasingly available, means the volume and variety of transactions coming through the governmental organisation is bound to rise. In this study, 54 Hong Kong and 56 Singaporean civil-service IT managers were surveyed. nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents believe there will be growth in workflow connectivity between GoAs, and that this will be seen over the coming five years. nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated that the majority of workflow connectivity would involve information transfer across GoAs in response to serving the public. More than 80% said they currently manage workflows that involve other GoAs. nearly 70% of survey respondents believe there will be an increase in the variety of information that will be shared across GoAs over the next five years. nearly 70% of respondents already used online and real-time systems for file sharing and transfer. Similarly, nearly 80% reported that they still used some form of paper-based methods, which indicates that there remain many areas that may see increased IT development. The growth in the volume of requests that GoAs will process is primarily driven by the increasing automation at the point of contact between the public and the government sector. nearly 70% of such interactions are already automated through online portals and IVr (interactive voice response) systems. More than 80% of survey respondents said they are currently managing multiple channels of communication between their agency and the public, with more than half saying that these have involved feeding requests back to the agency. roughly half of the respondents mentioned that they currently use software tools for managing information requests. 4 I 20
  • 8. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV exeCuTive summary - continued Almost 90% of the respondents were securing approvals through RESEARCH related software. > nearly 80% of survey respondents said they had plans of automating the approval process within the next five years. futureGOV RESEARCH The use of workflow automation software for processing requests in Singapore was higher than in Hong Kong. Slightly more respondents in Singapore indicated that they processed requests across multiple channels as compared to those in Hong Kong. There were more heavy users of workflow automation software in Singapore than in Hong Kong. Similarly, there were slightly more moderate users of workflow automation software in Singapore than in Hong Kong. The role that automating approvals as part of the integration and coordination process between GoAs looks poised for change. A majority of respondents from Hong Kong said only basic approvals have been automated, while a large number of respondents from Singapore were already automating most approvals. Although the need to exchange between GoAs has remained stable, the expected increase in the variety of information suggests that GoAs can anticipate an increasing complexity of the processes being used. Furthermore, the growing automation of the first point of contact with the public, coupled with the expanding channels of communication, will likely yield greater volume and variety of transactions that GoAs will need to manage. Finding a strategic solution that will allow GoAs to manage this growing volume of transactions is now critical to ensuring there is no breakdown in the provision of governmental services. 5 I 20
  • 9. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV inTroduCTion In both the commercial and governmental sectors, global trends RESEARCH around information sharing are leading toward increases in workflow connectivity. Just as the multinational enterprise must now work > across plants or international borders, so too are GoAs finding that they must better share information and resources across various departments. Although Information sharing between GoAs in futureGOV RESEARCH developed nations is generally well managed, the expected increase in the variety of information being shared is already raising concerns. Increased complexity is on the rise, and what remains to be seen is whether or not staff and the IT infrastructure itself will keep up. Moreover, the growing automation seen at the first point of contact, where the public meets the government, coupled with the expanding communication channels, means the rising tide and variety of transactions coming through GoAs is bound to raise new challenges. An indication of the changes that governments around the world can expect came with the election of barack obama to the US presidency. In coming into office, the new leader promised greater access and transparency within government. As White House Chief Information officer Vivek Kundra posted on the White House governmental website.* “In order to democratise data and advance the president’s agenda of an open, transparent and participatory government, the data.gov platform was launched… Since the launch, many state, local and international governments have followed the path to democratise data through their own platforms… There is a global movement to share public sector data to unleash the creativity of citizens, drive transparency and ensure accountability.” Although governments around the world do not necessarily follow nor model themselves after the American system of government, it is reasonable to anticipate that as developed nations like the US and UK offer increased access to information, expectations abroad may follow. In any case, finding solutions that let GoAs better manage the growing volume of transactions is or will be critical to ensuring the effective provision of governmental services, wherever they may be. * Changing the Way Washington Works, Vivek Kundra, december 16, 2009: http://www. whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/12/16/changing-way-washington-work. 6 I 20
  • 10. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV RESEARCH DEMOGRAPHICS RESEARCH The survey attracted a total of 110 public sector IT staff from Hong Kong and Singapore, with respondents coming from executive-level positions, senior and middle management, junior management and > professional staff. . futureGOV RESEARCH 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Hong Kong 0% Singapore executive Senior Middle Junior other Level Management Management Management u Figure 1: Job roles of survey respondents. The results from the survey and the discussion follows, revealing the current landscape and anticipated trends for IT in the governmental sector. 7 I 20
  • 11. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV STUDY RESULTS RESEARCH The increase in the volume and variety of connectivity between GoAs is expected to be significant. About 60% of survey respondents in Hong Kong and Singapore believed this growth will happen over > the next five years, illustrated in Figure 2, below. futureGOV RESEARCH yes - 60% no - 40% u Figure 2: Is there a need for workflow connectivity across GOAs? From those who did not anticipate significant growth in the need for connectivity, some of the reasons provided were: u There was no need for their agency to interact with other GoAs when serving requests u The volume of requests or transactions would remain flat over the next five years, with little increase in the diversity or complexity of transactions u There currently lacked automation in the processing of requests through the use of workflow tools, and it wouldn’t change u There lacked the capability for providing real-time visibility of data/information in the first place u There was a lack of accurate tracking of user requests in real-time, either in their in-house systems or in the systems at partner GoAs 8 I 20
  • 12. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV When it came to information transfer, nearly 75% of the respondents said workflow connectivity involved other GoAs, as shown in Figure 3, below. From this group, about a quarter indicated that they shared and RESEARCH transferred information often, implying that there was a heavy volume of transactions for a significant number of GoAs. However, more than > futureGOV a quarter of those surveyed did not share or transfer information with other organisations. Those who said they currently do not share or transfer information said it was because their current workflow RESEARCH did not involve other agencies, and/or they lacked the software systems needed for processing requests within their workflow. yes, often - 51% no, sometimes - 26% no - 23% u Figure 3: Frequency of sharing and transferring of information across GOAs in response to requests for government services. The survey revealed that over 80% of Hong Kong and Singaporean IT managers had interactions with other GoAs (Figure 4, below). of these, over half said they interacted with other GoAs over less than half of their total transaction volume. of special note, nearly 20% said they did not engage other GoAs, which suggests that these IT managers must be in highly independent branches within their government. between 76 to 100% of cases between 51 to 75% of cases Less than 50% of cases never u Figure 4: Degree of interaction with other GOAs. 9 I 20
  • 13. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV Although there appears to be a wide range of connectivity platforms across GoAs, there are trends showing that the complexity of the transactions is itself growing, especially around serving the public. RESEARCH nearly 70% of the respondents believed there will be an increase in the variety of information that will be shared across GoAs over the > futureGOV next five years, which will likely require a corresponding diversification of communication channels. RESEARCH This is believed to lead to an increasing complexity of processes used to manage the information load (Figure 5, below). The remaining third did not believe there will be an increase in the variety of information over the next 5 years. This may only indicate that these professionals handle more basic processes and are simply not involved in functions that need cross-department information, nor inter-department approvals for fulfilling transactions. yes - 68% no - 32% u Figure 5: Will there be an increase in variety of information shared across GOAs in response to requests over the next 5 years?. 10 I 20
  • 14. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV There already exist indications that the method of sharing and transferring information across GoAs is calling for more complex systems than those already in place. results indicate that two- RESEARCH thirds of respondents already use some online and real-time systems for file sharing and transfer, while 75% of respondents > futureGOV still use traditional offline methods (Figures 6 and 7, below). These results show that contemporary GoAs blend both online RESEARCH and offline file transfers, and this may simply mean that we are in a transition phase of moving toward a fully integrated online/real- time platform. In any case, a large number of GoAs are already using complex systems to support their interactions with other GoAs, which should increasingly become the norm. yes, often - 24% yes, sometimes - 41% no - 35% u Figure 6: Respondents already using online/real-time methods for file sharing/transfer. yes, often - 15% yes, sometimes - 60% no - 25% u Figure 7: Respondents who use traditional/offline methods for file sharing/transfer. 11 I 20
  • 15. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV The growth in the volume of requests that GoAs must process is primarily driven by the increase in automation at the point of contact with the public. The survey has also shown that nearly 70% RESEARCH of interactions have already been automated through online portals and IVr (interactive voice response) systems (Figure 8, below). > futureGOV A surprising result was that nearly 20% of respondents said they did not, nor did they plan to implement Internet- and IVr-routed requests. This suggests that at least some departments in Hong RESEARCH Kong’s and Singapore’s civil service have not seen Internet- or IVr- based platforms as sufficiently useful. This last observation may have occurred because the IT managers did not expect significant growth in the volume of requests, as the more traditional channels of communication have not yet needed to operate above capacity. yes - 66% not yet, but plans to implement - 12% not and no plans to implement - 16% other - 6% u Figure 8: Is there automation at point of interaction between your agency and the public? Interactions with the public and between GoAs are already occurring across multiple channels; so far, the GoAs have been able to accommodate the increasing diversity in communication modes. over 80% reported that they are currently managing multiple channels of communication (Figure 9, below), with more than half saying that these multiple channels have already been adopted for most interactions. yes, most requests - 54% yes, some requets - 28% no - 19% u Figure 9: Does your agency already manage an increasing diversity of communication channels when processing requests? 12 I 20
  • 16. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV Additionally, more than half of the respondents indicated that they used software solutions to process requests and to manage the corresponding activities with other GoAs, with nearly 20% reporting RESEARCH that such solutions will soon be implemented (Figure 10, below). > futureGOV RESEARCH yes - 53% no, but plans to implement - 16% no, and no plans to implement - 31% u Figure 10: Does your agency use software tools to process requests and manage agency interactions? Adding new levels of complexity to the growing need for better management, the decision-making processes itself is being automated through software solutions, adding yet more complexity to the automated workflow systems. Survey results have shown that nearly 90% of respondents are already securing department approvals through software platforms (Figure 11, below). As a result, the processes among GoAs will have become more complex and diversified as the systems grow, precisely in order to support the decision-making processes, themselves. yes, most approvals automated - 28% yes, some basic approvals automated - 61% no, all approvals are manual - 11% u Figure 11: Does your agency use automated approval systems? 13 I 20
  • 17. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV Lastly, the majority of respondents indicated that they have plans to migrate more approvals and decision-making functions towards automated systems. nearly 80% of the respondents said they RESEARCH planned on automating the approval process within the next five years (Figure 12, below). > futureGOV RESEARCH yes - 80% no - 20% u Figure 12: Do your agency plan on automating the approval process? Increased automation is the front line of interactions between GoAs and the public, and this will inevitably push more transactions across the networks of GoAs. As the diversity of information to be shared across these GoAs increases, accommodating the increased complexity and providing the ability to scale up capacity will also need to be addressed. At this point, it would seem that, in general, the demand for automated systems to handle processes within and across GoAs in response to requests will rise over the next five years. 14 I 20
  • 18. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV Challenges from groWing demand RESEARCH Much as greater connectivity seems inevitable, there is currently an abundance of disparate systems among the various GoAs. These systems are not typically integrated or standardised. Furthermore, > the information captured and processed by these systems is usually in a form that is not readily transferrable for immediate use by other GoAs. From the perspective of government IT departments, futureGOV RESEARCH establishing a unified, integrated system using traditional approaches across all GoAs is proving to be costly, be it around time or other resources. Automation of customer interaction and workflow processes has already been established in most industries, particularly in the financial services and the retail sectors. Government services are the next big users of these automated services, given the high volume of customer interaction. However, the consolidation of these processes is facing stiff resistance due to concerns regarding security and confidentiality. In spite of the readily apparent cost advantages, government services are rarely consolidated, and are often limited to less complex processes that involve less sensitive information transfer. The resistance to consolidation means that most processes stay in-house and do not develop into seamlessly-integrated systems that can access or serve other organisations. nevertheless, the automation of back-end processes is crucial, since processing requests quickly reduces wasted time and resource consumption. As a result, workflow automation remains a critical objective in the public sector organisation. What typically happens at GoAs is that back-end processes achieve a level of automation and sophistication that leaves it difficult to interact with the processes at other GoAs. Survey results revealed that in Hong Kong and Singapore, in-house internal processes tend to have more complex capabilities than those at other GoAs (Figures 13, below and 14, on the next page). Among these capabilities include real-time visibility of data/information, as well as accurate, real-time tracking of the status of client requests. yes, all - 11% yes, some - 13% no - 58% u Figure 13: Do other GOAs have more in-house systems for real-time visibility of data/information than in your agency? 15 I 20
  • 19. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV RESEARCH yes, all - 11% > yes, some - 13% no - 58% futureGOV RESEARCH u Figure 14: Do your in-house systems have more real-time visibility of data/information than at other GOAs? This level of complexity and system incompatibility makes it challenging to increase the level of interaction across GoAs, as the volume of service requests is increasing as well. Solutions are needed that will allow enhanced connectivity across GoAs, letting information flow seamlessly across platforms. Demand for workflow automation software between Hong Kong and Singapore, survey results have shown that demand for workflow automation software due to the volume of customer service requests is currently lower in Hong Kong than in Singapore. This may indicate unrealised demand in Hong Kong. As Figure 15 below illustrates, the use of workflow automation software for processing requests is highest. 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% yes no, but plans no, and no plans to to implement implement u Figure 15: Use of workflow automation software, by country.. 16 I 20
  • 20. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV Interactions with the public in Hong Kong were also ranked as less platform diverse than in Singapore. nearly two-thirds of respondents from Singapore indicated that they process requests RESEARCH from across multiple channels, (Figure 16, below). This indicates that there may come a shift towards multiple channels of > futureGOV communication in Hong Kong. RESEARCH 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% yes no, but plans no, and no plans to to implement implement u Figure 16: Use of diverse channels to manage interactions, by country. The degree to which IT managers in Hong Kong relied on automation software to handle their workflow was also lower in Hong Kong than in Singapore. Such software utilities for processing requests was just under half in Hong Kong, and just under two-thirds in Singapore (Figure 17, below). 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% yes no, but plans no, and no plans to to implement implement u Figure 17: Use of software tools for processing requests, by country. 17 I 20
  • 21. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV The study also illustrated that there were more heavy users of workflow automation software in Singapore than in Hong Kong. nearly 20% of respondents from Singapore used workflow automation software for RESEARCH all or nearly all requests, about double the number from Hong Kong (Figure 18, below). of those that ranked the degree of workflow in the > futureGOV moderate range, there was no significant difference. RESEARCH 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% between between Less than never 76 to 100% 51 to 75% 50% of cases of cases of cases u Figure 18: Expected growth in the diversity of shared/transferred information across GOAs, by country. An area in Hong Kong that may see a shift towards increased automation is in the issuing of approvals as part of the integration and coordination between GoAs. The majority of respondents from Hong Kong said basic approvals were mostly automated, and only a tenth said they were already automating most approvals. This contrasts with the Singaporean cohort, where nearly half said they were already automating most approvals (Figure 19, below). With the growing volume and diversity of information shared across GoAs, one can expect that Hong Kong will follow the trend that Singapore has been following and which it promises to maintain. 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% yes, most yes, some no, all approvals basic approvals approvals are automated automated manual u Figure 19: Degree of approvals for requests that are automated, by country. 18 I 20
  • 22. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV The indication that Hong Kong will move toward greater automation is also supported by the result that more Hong Kong respondents expect an increase in the variety of cross-GoAs information than from RESEARCH respondents in Singapore (Figure 20, below). one might anticipate that a large number of Hong Kong GoAs are or will be planning ahead in > futureGOV anticipation of such growth. 80% RESEARCH 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Hong Kong 10% Singapore 0% yes no u Figure 20: Expected growth in the diversity of shared/transferred information across GOAs, by country. Hence, it is likely that the governmental services sector will be moving towards increased automation. This would anticipate the coming rise in the volume and complexity of information requests coming from the populace. This trend may in fact be inevitable, as the public’s expectations for freedom and access to information will likely rise, and not fall, given worldwide trends. As if in anticipation of these changes, nearly half from Hong Kong, slightly more respondents from Hong Kong than from Singapore, believed that adapting IT systems to changes was a straight-forward but time-consuming process (Figure 21, below). This indicates that more respondents in Hong Kong will be less resistant and less critical to the changes involved when transitioning to ‘cloud’ computing and other anticipated shared-services systems. 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Hong Kong Singapore 0% It is an easy It is a straight- It requires a lot of Unsure and quick forward but time and resources process time-consuming process u Figure 21: Perception of difficulties to changes in IT systems, by country. 19 I 20
  • 23. > futureGOV RESEARCH www.futuregov.net > futureGOV ConClusion By comparing the current context and differences between Hong RESEARCH Kong and Singapore, the survey sought to explore a number of areas linked information sharking within the governmental > agency. As the volume of requests and service from the public is poised to go up, this study attempted to capture what effects futureGOV RESEARCH this will have on the future direction of information sharing and interconnectivity. The report showed: u GoAs from Hong Kong and Singapore can anticipate a sustained rise in the level and variety of information requests coming from the public, as increased transparency, accountability and access to information is becoming more of a norm. u As the volume and variety of requests increase, expectations to effectively manage this public service will likely remain high, leaving GoAs with the task of introducing, managing and maintaining a service quality that they have come to expect. u As information and data will need to be accessible across- department and across-GoAs, fully integrated information systems will likely become the norm, reaching into functions as diverse as points-of-contact to workflow automation. u Although not absolute nor true for all departments, the majority of GoAs can anticipate increased automation and system integration over the next five years. 20 I 20
  • 24. Alphabet Media Pte Ltd 43c-45c beach road #04-00 e & C Complex Singapore 189681 Tel: (+65) 6324 7618 Fax: (+65) 6324 1228 www.alphabet-media.com