Quote of the week
“IT’s shift to working hand-in-hand with business is enabling government to respond more effectively to citizens’ growing expectations around digital service.”
— Michele Lajeunesse, executive director, GTEC
Ottawa’s GTEC 2014 event is in full swing, and its theme, Government from the Outside-In, touches on three important issues for governments in the digital age.
The first is the role of institutional IT. In the days of e-government, the IT function was seen as the enabler of change. Essentially, its job was to recommend which expensive systems were needed to make e-government work and then to buy and maintain them.
Today it’s clear that IT needs to play a more strategic role, working with institutional users and citizens to make sure the opportunities provided by the digital world, such as in the areas of big data and open data, are used to achieve better outcomes.
Second, citizens and their expectations around digital are critical drivers of how governments need to respond. For a generation we have been saying that citizens don’t care what level of government they interact with, yet we have made little progress. We could go a lot further and figure out, for example, how to manage the risks and create personal e-profiles that reflect a citizen’s individual needs across departments and governments.
Third, governments can no longer do it alone. They have to work with other sectors – and not just the technology one – to deliver on their obligations efficiently and effectively.
The government of Canada’s CIO, Corinne Charette, wrote a year ago that the “new reality requires a paradigm shift. CIOs can now focus on the future, proactively improving service design and delivery with their business partners throughout government and changing their role from service provider to innovation agent and catalyst for enterprise transformation.”
What she wrote then still resonates today, and good on GTEC 2014 for keeping the conversation going.