How the internet and mobile technology have changed the way citizens use public services
Mobile devices have transformed commercial services, and they are entering the government industry and public services. When a high percentage of the population owns a smartphone* and some of the most fragile groups depend on their smartphone for Internet access vs. broadband access at home**, a fluid digital and mobile citizen experience is more than just a basic requirement.
We are starting this eGovernment blog posts series with some key trends affecting public services today:
• 85% of citizens expect the same or higher standard of quality from government services as they do from commercial organizations (Smart Cities World quoting an Accenture Singapore report: From digital to living governments, 2019)
• Citizens want to interact with their government the way they interact with businesses; more than half use a mobile phone or tablet and many of them find the state of current eServices frustrating; they really do care about data security (91% of respondents have concerns about submitting personal information to state government websites); mobile interactions could deliver dramatic benefits for the citizens who most need government services (The 2018 Citizen Experience research report, Conduent)
• More than nine-in-ten Millennials (92%) own smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers (those who turn ages 38 to 53 this year), 67% of Baby Boomers (ages 54 to 72) and 30% of the Silent Generation (ages 73 to 90), according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data
• 58% of EU citizens who need public services choose to go online (EU - Digital Economy and Society Index Report 2018 - Digital Public Services)
• 62% of citizens think governments should experiment with new technology offerings, says the same Conduent report
• 97% of UK civil servants believe that technology is critical to their work, with only 1% thinking it is an overhead (UK 2017 Civil servants survey)
• Technology is seen as critical for improving public services (78%), increasing public sector productivity (66%) and managing demand from citizens (57%) (UK 2017 Civil servants survey)
• Despite some gains and major investments in eGovernment development made by many countries, the digital divide persists. (2018 E-Government Survey, United Nations)
Technology backed by a clear vision on how it should transform the citizen experience with more efficient services can make a huge difference in government and public services. When planning new digital government services, governments need to consider who will use them and how users will access services. Older public services websites designed before the smartphones may be insufficient to meet everyone’s needs. Online services alone will surely not cover all groups as the digital divide persist.
An omni-channel, fully integrated citizen experience can help break the organizational silos and improve government-citizens communications.
* Pew Research Center - Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life
** Pew research Center - Digital divide persists even as lower-income Americans make gains in tech adoption
Smart Cities World, From digital to living governments, 2019
The 2018 Citizen Experience research report, Conduent
UK 2017 Civil servants survey
EU - Digital Economy and Society Index Report 2018 - Digital Public Services
2018 E-Government Survey, United Nations