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How World Governments Are Accelerating Digital Transformation

How World Governments Are Accelerating Digital Transformation

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By Shoshana Friedman

Governments across the globe are in the throes of accelerating their digital transformation efforts to ensure that countries run smoothly and citizens receive necessary services.

COVID-19 made it clear that going digital was not a nice-to-have, but rather a must. Industries, like retail, who were unable to integrate digital services into their offerings have experienced some hard hits.

In this article, we are going to explore digital gaps countries are experiencing and how COVID-19 has been an impetus for governments to fast-track digital transformation efforts.

Paper to digital

Most countries, including those considered 1st world, still rely heavily on manual operations when it comes to large-scale bureaucratic systems.

Take the UK’s National Health System, to date they are the world’s largest purchasers of fax machines


When COVID-19 struck many governmental agencies were left unprepared, resulting in a halt of necessary functions. Court hearings, acquiring a new passport or even getting married still required in-person interactions, and couldn’t be completed virtually.

Some countries did employ digital means, but their infrastructure wasn’t robust to absorb the amount of traffic and requests. Towards the end of March, Italy’s social security office received over 300,000 welfare applications in a single day and subsequently crashed.

Digital transformation accelerated

Part of what COVID-19 revealed was that many countries are in need of a digital transformation overhaul. 

55% of government CIOs say they will need to acquire new technology solutions/services to address the new post-COVID-19 work dynamic.

One of the main challenges that governments face is centralizing and digitizing public records for easy access by multiple agencies. Australia recently announced that it will invest $420 million to implement a new business register that will consolidate 32 different business registers into one, reducing regulatory burdens for businesses.

Investing in data-sharing can help governments provide better service to their constituents by expediting assistance and minimizing confusion.

Synchronized data

Australia is investing another $257 million that will go to developing its digital identity system to provide a more secure way for citizens to engage with government systems. This is definitely a need as more security breaches have occurred as a result of COVID-19, with a rise in digital fraud and cyberhacking.

Estonia, one of the most technologically advanced countries, has an established digital id in which all citizens can vote online, access their bank account, and pay their taxes. Due to their streamlined system, furloughed Estonians experienced more ease in receiving benefits during the pandemic.

Credit: e-Estonia

Indonesia has taken note and is investing in digital transformation efforts by implementing a digital social registry to facilitate cash transfers and emergency assistance to those in need. 

Digital transformation requires digital adoption solutions

As governments invest in digital transformation, paper systems will be transferred to online portals. Purchasing technology that’s easy to navigate for people of all different ages and backgrounds doesn’t just magically happen. A major part of a digital transformation process must include a digital adoption platform (DAP).

DAP is a software overlay that not only provides contextual guidance and on-the-spot assistance, but leverages insights and analytics to get a behind the scenes look into real-time software usage and engagement.

As mentioned throughout the article, governments have already started investing millions of dollars to update their software offerings. In order for these new software integrations to be used effectively by government employees and citizens alike, they must take into consideration the importance of technology adoption.

Providing solutions like DAP can guarantee that governments and their constituents are getting the highest ROI out of new technology, creating a more connected and efficient way to cope through and past COVID-19.

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Shoshana Friedman
Shoshana's background in product and user experience gives her writing a focus on the human aspect of the business and technology landscapes. Her unique UX angle allows her to assess the digital era in a way that is both practical and insightful.