Home' Australian Govlink : Issue 1 2015 Contents Delivering on Digital by Default written by Keith Don,
Director, Strategy and Consulting.
DELIVERING ON DIGITAL BY DEFAULT
Digital channels are the first choice for how we
engage with people and organisations. There is
no question that digital is ubiquitous, but many
have noted that Australian federal, state and
local governments have been slow to implement
digital transformation initiatives.
31% of Australians consider Government to
provide the worst digital experience of any
sector of the economy, however, there is now
an imperative to change. Initiatives such as
the federal government’s Digital Transformation
agenda, which received $254.7m in the 2015-16
Federal Budget is a clear signal that it is serious
about changing this perception.
What hampers the move to Digital
Despite the digital imperative presented by both
citizen demand and government policy and
strategy, in practice Government agencies have
been either slow to respond or have had limited
success in implementing digital transformation
projects that address the factors highlighted by
Federal and State Government digital strategies.
In some cases this is a symptom of ICT project
issues; however, it is important to note that four
areas in particular have hampered the move
towards digital transformation;
• Project Process
Digital projects benefit from a more agile and
flexible approach which may include the use of
Agile methodologies such as scrum, but more
importantly require user-centred approaches
which consider form and function, rather than
function and efficiency in isolation.
• Technology Options
Often digital platforms that are suited to the
defined problem or situation are not considered due
to not being in the Government’s standard suite.
Waterfall hierarchical governance approaches
don’t encourage dynamic digital activity. Rather
an ‘engaged governance’ approach is required
where key stakeholders are involved and
committed to the process.
Digital project success requires partnering with
the ‘right’ companies rather than the ‘big’
companies. This is due to the fact that success
depends on partnering with a vendor that is
dynamic and flexible enough to work with you.
This is to achieve often changing digital objectives.
Simplicity & Technology
Whilst there are a number of factors that should
be considered when implementing digital projects
two are the most important when implementing
digital transformation projects: Simplicity and
Technology are the most important factors as they
differentiate digital transformation projects from
other ICT or organisational change projects.
Digital projects succeed when they are simple.
Simple in terms of reduced or managed technical
complexity and simple where the business rules
and processes are simplified.
Organisations should take a ‘Lego approach’:
Utilise pre-built components and assemble them
together. Rather than customising components,
consider re-engineering business processes to
maximise the value of digital investments. Also,
organisations should partner with organisations
with recognised skills in application integration.
The integration of systems allows significant
value to be extracted from existing systems
especially in terms of process efficiency and
business intelligence, with data quality and auto-
completion of forms a benefit for end-users
Whilst obviously critical to digital projects, it is
important to see technology as a response to a
business problem. Too often projects are initiated
for which the objective is the implementation of a
technology product or system.
The selection of technology serves the business
need, and is not an objective in itself.
Organisations should continue the prevailing
trend of selecting Commercial-off-the-shelf
components and plug them together ‘lego
style’ to achieve the required outcomes. This
approach stresses the importance of application
integration and enables a more rapid, less costly
project with reduced risk.
Partnering for Success
Whilst project success depends on a variety
of factors, utilisation of the ‘Lego approach’
as discussed enables the flexibility and agility
required for successful digital transformation
projects whilst mitigating many of the risks
associated with ICT projects.
Selection of a vendor to partner with is critical.
Ensure that the vendor/s you choose have the
• Has a range of Commercial Off The Shelf
product knowledge and experience
• Has significant and recognised application
• Is the ‘right size’ to partner with your
• Has a project management approach suited
to digital transformation projects
• Can support your strategy rather than just
being an implementer
• Has cloud, on-premise and hybrid
infrastructure, application and integration
Making a considered vendor choice will give
your project the best opportunity for success.
Digital Stratgey Vision
IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
GOVLINK » ISSUE 1 2015
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