Digital Transformation in Government: Only 20% of Australian Councils May Be Geared Towards a Digital Future
Rate capping, digital disruption, and government legislation are driving councils into a radical change. But while the age of digital has given rise to new capabilities that can solve these challenges, many are still hesitant to move towards digital transformation.
Technology has the power to reduce administrative burden and improve how the local government can serve its people. But digital transformation is complex. It has to be handled correctly to avoid issues with privacy and security.
Digital Transformation in Local Government
According to the ANZ Local Government Digital Maturity Index (DMI), which surveyed over 100 local government authorities in Australia and New Zealand, 90% of respondents acknowledged that digital was the way of the future. But only 20% believed that their council was doing enough towards their digital transformation.
Digital transformation can be used to finetune and streamline many government processes. Applications, permits, tickets, and registrations can all be accessed and processed online for the government to run more effectively.
Successfully digitising these processes reduces the reliance upon physical offices, reducing travel time and environmental impact. It also makes the processes more accessible and less time-consuming for residents.
Of course, there are challenges to this. They’ve seen large companies fall prey to cyberattacks. So concerns around security and privacy make government agencies reluctant to be on board any digital transformation initiative.
Having proper digitisation strategies can help ensure a safe and successful transformation.
Create a Roadmap to Cloud Services
Moving to the cloud can help improve your services and make it accessible. Whilst cloud services aren’t right for all government agencies, they do have clear advantages for most. They are easily accessed from anywhere, and they provide unlimited resources that can be deployed on an as-needed basis.
To do this, first identify your current needs and pain points. Address how cloud solutions would alleviate these problems. Once you’ve named the problems, you can then create a roadmap towards training and incremental deployment.
Improving Customer Engagement through Better IT Systems
Digital transformation isn’t just a matter of convenience. It provides increased transparency with government systems. It also improves engagement and collaboration.
With the right IT infrastructure, you can improve the flow of council services and processes. Residents can view council information at any time. They can access applications, registration forms, and other documents in the comfort of their own home.
Engagement is important for individuals and communities. With better engagement, councils will be able to provide superior service to their residents and collaborate with their local communities.
Practical Examples of Government Digital Transformations
It’s difficult to imagine the advantages of government digital transformations without concrete examples.
Digitally Connected Town Centre
One example of digital transformation is the ability to connect with town centres through the digital world.
Restaurants, bars, lounges, and other entertainment venues can maintain their integrated digital presence, making it easier for residents to view information about them.
Residents can compare different venues, make appointments and reservations, and experience the town centre location before they visit.
Digital parking is another area in which the local government can take significant strides. Imagine a community where residents can find parking spaces through the internet, pay for parking with cashless transactions, and accumulate parking rewards points. This will encourage them to use city-paid parking while also making it easier for them to park when they travel.
Local governments can take advantage of digital alert systems to connect communities to local events, fundraisers, and other community-organised initiatives. When residents sign up for these systems, they can receive deals, discounts, and invitations, which prompt them to further engage with their community.
The Smart Council Program, mandated by The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, aims to remove any barriers to the implementation of the Internet of Things in the community. This empowers councils to serve their constituents efficiently, allowing them to monitor flood, track water and air quality level, and contribute to the sustainability efforts in the community.
Blackbird IT Case Study on Digital Transformation
St Michael’s College is a Catholic school in the Lasallian tradition. The richly diverse community aspire to a common purpose — for young people to flourish and be the best they can be.
The school run their laptops on a 3-year lifecycle, so students are given a laptop in Year 8 and then again at the beginning of Year 11.
In August 2018, Ashley Morrison, the ICT Manager, went to tender for their annual laptop rollout, which occurs at the commencement of each school year.
With 1,800 students, rolling out laptops across two year levels each and every year is no mean feat; however, as the school elected to transition their year 7 students from primary to high school to align with national curriculum requirements, 2019 would mean new laptops for year 7, 8, and 11; in total, 803 HP laptops and 803 STM laptop bags.
We faced a big challenge due to recent Forex shifts resulting in laptop costs increasing significantly.
Being one of the biggest deployments in St Michael’s history, for us to secure the tender, it was vital we could ensure a financially viable option that would also keep student downtime to an absolute minimum, something Ashley was convinced we could deliver.
He highlighted, “Two years ago, Blackbird IT were the right choice to implement our desktop rollout, so I was confident they could come to the party with a suitable solution.”
Having handled a desktop refresh for St Michael’s some two years prior, we put forward our case, outlining the unavoidable logistics of the project and how we would tackle it.
After securing the tender in September, we engaged HP to build a custom ProBook 430 G5 to ensure only the essential components were included. We then provided a seed unit to St Michael’s, enabling them to build and test a Microsoft SCCM image to their liking. The image was uploaded via FTP and a single unit was imaged which was then air freighted to the school for verification.
With the seed unit approved, it was time to image the remaining 802 ProBooks. Due to the Forex shifts the previous year, we had developed a new deployment model in conjunction with Synnex to keep costs down. We leveraged their logistics team to connect their network with St Michael’s which made for a seamless unbox, image, and test process. Something Ashley was very thankful for.
Thanks to the deployment and testing process provided by Synnex, all 803 ProBook’s arrived in early January, a week before schedule with ample preparation time before the start of term. Always being kept in the loop throughout the process, Ashley said he’s never had a laptop rollout go so smoothly.
“The whole process from tender to delivery was seamless. I’ve honestly never been involved in a rollout that has gone so smoothly, I was ecstatic with the result,” Ashley stated.
Whilst agencies do acknowledge the benefits of digital transformation, they often find themselves unable to approach implementation. Whether the budget isn’t there or the security concerns are just too risky, government agencies hesitate before setting out to perform digital improvements.
An IT partner can help councils, government agencies, and individual businesses to create a digital transformation roadmap to better digitise their services and make processes easier for residents.
With a digital transformation roadmap, local governments are able to better see the step-by-step process of digitisation, as well as the incremental benefits that digitisation can afford.
Are you ready to get started? Blackbird IT can help with your digital transformation. Let’s chat.