Adobe Digital Dialogue

October 8, 2014 /Mobile /

Digital Disruption is changing the Public Sector

131119 Paul RobsonPaul Rob­son, Pres­i­dent, Adobe Asia Pacif­ic

Can you imag­ine a world with­out smart­phones, or tablets; Face­book or Twit­ter? Can you imag­ine rely­ing on enor­mous paper maps to find your way around a new city, or need­ing a num­ber – fast – and flick­ing through a phone book? Most peo­ple can’t, because the world has changed with the pro­lif­er­a­tion of mobile inter­net. Dig­i­tal has dis­rupt­ed almost every aspect of our lives and orga­ni­za­tions around the world are under­go­ing the tec­ton­ic shift that is dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Some are leap­ing ahead, oth­ers are lag­ging, but no sec­tor is off the hook, includ­ing gov­ern­ments, which are at the fore­front of cit­i­zen inter­ac­tion.

The com­mu­ni­ty, and the way we com­mu­ni­cate, has changed dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the last ten years. At the same time, we have access to the most sophis­ti­cat­ed tech­nol­o­gy we’ve ever seen. Gov­ern­ments have an oppor­tu­ni­ty, and a respon­si­bil­i­ty, to lever­age that tech­nol­o­gy to bet­ter engage with cit­i­zens, inspire them with stream­lined, per­son­al expe­ri­ences, and gen­er­ate effi­cien­cy and sav­ings in these cost-con­scious times. There are three key dri­vers that will shape dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion in the pub­lic sec­tor: mobile, the inter­net of things and mak­ing every­thing dig­i­tal.

Mobile and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of smart­phones and tablets

Mobile is no longer a nice-to-have option — it’s a require­ment. Smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion in Asia Pacif­ic has explod­ed in recent years and accord­ing to the OECD, mar­kets in Aus­tralia, Japan and Korea are above the 100% pen­e­tra­tion mark. Peo­ple have seen the val­ue and con­ve­nience in using mobile tech­nol­o­gy in their day-to-day lives for all sorts of tasks, and they expect the same val­ue and con­ve­nience from pub­lic sec­tor agen­cies.

Pub­lic sec­tor employ­ees are also ben­e­fit­ing from mobile tech­nol­o­gy. Some pub­lic agen­cies have intro­duced BYOD because of the mon­ey saved by not pro­vid­ing employ­ees with a device, but also because these employ­ees have increased their pro­duc­tiv­i­ty using mobile tech­nol­o­gy. More­over, mobile tech­nol­o­gy can enable secure tele­work­ing, which can ensure con­ti­nu­ity of gov­ern­ment ser­vices in times of cri­sis such as a nat­ur­al dis­as­ter.

Orga­ni­za­tions that do not pro­vide con­tent in mobile form are lim­it­ing acces­si­bil­i­ty. This issue does not just affect on-the-go exec­u­tives. A range of demo­graph­ics have adopt­ed mobile devices includ­ing younger con­stituents and cit­i­zens with lim­it­ed funds who can­not afford a per­son­al com­put­er and Inter­net access, but can afford a mobile device and data plan.

When com­bin­ing the cit­i­zen demand for mobile infor­ma­tion with the agency demand to increase self-ser­vice as a means to low­er agency costs, it is clear that mobil­i­ty is the future of cit­i­zen engage­ment.


The Inter­net of Things

The Inter­net of Things might have seemed like some­thing from a sci­ence-fic­tion movie not so long ago, but not any­more. As we begin to enter a new era of machine-to-machine com­mu­ni­ca­tions, we will see a redefin­ing of the rela­tion­ship between and peo­ple and things. For gov­ern­ments, there will be access to cit­i­zen insights like nev­er before.

From farm­ers being able to mon­i­tor tem­per­a­ture, soil mois­ture and acid­i­ty and the effect it has on ani­mal behav­ior; dish­wash­ers know­ing when to oper­ate when the ener­gy grid is least busy, to auto­mat­ed self-med­ica­tion, the Inter­net of Things is dis­rupt­ing and chang­ing our lives.


Mak­ing every­thing dig­i­tal

Peo­ple expect access, engage­ment and trans­paren­cy from gov­ern­ment. They want faster access to ser­vices, to forms and the infor­ma­tion they need. So what does that mean for gov­ern­ments? Adobe sur­veyed gov­ern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tors in the US ear­li­er this year as part of its Dig­i­tal Dis­tress research and found that just 34% felt they had suf­fi­cient tools to be an effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor for their depart­ment of agency.

If gov­ern­ments are going to reach and engage cit­i­zens they need to tar­get the plat­forms peo­ple are using and deliv­er engag­ing, per­son­alised expe­ri­ences. Future focus will be around mobile opti­miza­tion, mobile apps and web­site opti­mi­sa­tion. Today, accord­ing to Dig­i­tal Dis­tress, gov­ern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tors are embrac­ing this dis­rup­tion and are active­ly prepar­ing for these changes. In fact, 38% of respon­dents are con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing Mobile Opti­mised Web, while 42% already use this tac­tic. In the grow­ing field of web­site per­son­al­iza­tion, 26% of respon­dents are con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing this tech­nol­o­gy while 19% already use this.

As our lives become more focused and reliant on dig­i­tal, those depart­ments and agen­cies which embrace dig­i­tal gov­ern­ment and invest in the right tech­nol­o­gy and peo­ple will see the ben­e­fits. They will inspire their cit­i­zens with engag­ing, per­son­alised expe­ri­ences and they will reap the ben­e­fits of cost sav­ings and effi­cien­cies.


To find out where your agency or depart­ment falls when it comes to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, take Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Matu­ri­ty Assess­ment.


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