It is a commonly held opinion in public administrations that the only way of ensuring satisfaction for citizens and corporations with e-Government is by making major organizational and technical investments. In numerous projects, however, despite large investments, this satisfaction was not attained.
A market study by the business consultants Logica in collaboration with the market researchers Audoin Consultants (PAC) (press release of the market study) deals with just this topic.
The results of the study show that, according to the estimation of the interviewed experts in public administrations, greater responsiveness towards citizens as well as reduced costs could indeed be harmonized throughout Europe. There are five recommended strategies for this result:
- Automation of administrative, backoffice and customer care processes
- Enhanced administrative efficiency through IT-based, centralized procurement solutions
- Implementation through the use of shared services and collaboration with the private sector
- Slimming down process flows between different administrative levels
- Cost reduction through introduction of new IT solutions
These strategies seem both sensible and logical. The first point in particular has also proven to be an important factor in our projects.
Automated administrative processes are the basis for cost effectiveness and efficiency and as a consequence the basic condition for e–Government, as they eliminate the need of having to re-enter data manually. Furthermore, they are essential to promote transparency, OpenGovernment and OpenData.
The use of shared services is however also gaining in popularity with our customers, both across authorities and in the Cloud environment. We also recently reported in our news (http://www.egov-suite.com/en/news) about projects to streamline process flows between authorities.
In an interview for eGovernment Computing, supplementary to the study (German) entioned above, IT is named as the string that connects the listed strategies. This should however not obscure the organizational aspect. Cost reduction and enhanced efficiency and satisfaction are organizational measures that IT should utilize.
Both the study and the strategies (in correlation with experiences from concrete projects) show that not too excessive, cost pressures can provide an opportunity, and even have a positive effect on satisfaction levels with the provided services. However, it is rather unlikely that cost pressure on its own triggers satisfaction.