February 10, 2015
Governments Gain Economic and Citizen Benefits with Digital Services, New Accenture Studies Show
Nine in 10 UAE Citizens Said Better Digital Services Would Improve Their View of Government
JUMEIRAH, DUBAI; Feb. 10, 2015 – An empowered and digitally enabled government could reduce back-office costs up to 45 percent1, and a government that embraces and expands its digital offerings to citizens would see a dramatic, positive increase in citizen perception, according to Accenture (NYSE:ACN). 
Accenture examined the digital transformation of government, looking at the impact digital services have on a country’s economy, competitiveness, innovation and its citizens through a research report and a global pulse survey.
The report, “Digital at Depth: Digital Technologies at the Heart of Public Service Transformation,” examines the ways that technologies routinely used by citizens for shopping, banking and commerce are poised to transform the way citizens interact with their governments. Findings were presented at the third annual United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government Summit here.
Digitalization is one of the keys that can contribute to economic growth and competitiveness, according to the report. A 1 percent increase in digitalization can mean a .5 percent gain in Gross Domestic product2 and a 1.9 percent gain in international trade3. A 10 percent increase in digitalization could translate to a .86 percent drop in a country’s unemployment rate4.
“Governments have the opportunity to drive true public service transformation through digital technologies. We are at a pivotal juncture. Digital is more than a way to keep up with savvy citizens or streamline processes. It is a transformational tool that can be used to deliver public services of the future,” said Bernard le Masson, global management consulting lead for Accenture’s Health & Public Service business.
Digital at Depth: Six Characteristics of Digital Leaders
Digital strategies currently focus on making services more efficient. Digital leaders will build on that efficiency to help transform institutions, structures, processes and workforces. Digital at Depth identifies six characteristics that distinguish digital governments and leaders in public service:
  • Engaged citizenry: Building a political culture where citizens are motivated and engaged with their representatives in order to co-design public policies.
  • Collaborative services: Collaborating in new, innovative ways with the private sector and experimenting with new models of public service delivery.
  • Government as a disruptor: Establishing a bold, risk-taking culture of disrupting current institutions and processes advancing towards change in public service outcomes.
  • Entrepreneurial and performance-driven workforce: Setting the right incentives and conditions for entrepreneurs to thrive and for the public service workforce to be digitally savvy and productive.
  • Open and insight-driven services: Creating a government that leverages big data to spark new digital economies, as well as developing intelligence-based responses through analytic tools.
  • Resilient, mission-critical infrastructure: Designing services that are robust and ‘always on’ to facilitate fast-paced technological change while ensuring highly secure services so citizens are confident their personal data is protected.
“A government, at any level, that instills these characteristics, all enabled by digital at depth, will truly be transformative. Governments can build common digital platforms and play the role of partner, convener or facilitator, driving benefits for administrators, businesses and citizens,” said Dr. Majid Altuwaijri, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service business in the Middle East.
Governments that embrace these characteristics and pro-actively address citizen digital needs and demands will see an increase in citizen participation and improved public perception, according to Accenture’s 2015 Digital Citizen Pulse Survey.
2015 Digital Citizen Pulse Survey: Key Findings
Accenture surveyed more than 6,600 citizens in seven countries to determine current levels of digital engagement, the current state of service offerings and use and interest in additional services. According to the survey results, more than nine in 10 citizens (92 percent to 95 percent) surveyed said improved digital services would positively impact their view of government. Nearly 95 percent of UAE respondents would describe their government as forward-looking if improved digital services were provided and 92 percent said digital services would increase their willingness to engage with government. These statistics held true regardless of gender, residence or age, according to the survey. Additional findings include:
  • More than a third (33 percent) of citizens conducts more than half of their interactions with government digitally.
  • More than three fourths (76 percent) want to increase their level of digital interaction with government and almost 100 percent (98 percent) want to maintain or increase their level of digital interaction within the year.
  • The top three services UAE citizens want to conduct digitally are paying fees/fines/tickets (60 percent), applying for or renewing licenses/registrations/ permits (58 percent) and getting information about and requesting specific government services (56 percent).
  • A little more than half (54 percent) of respondents are satisfied with the current level of digital services.
  • Only 11 percent of UAE citizens are dissatisfied with digital public services, citing technology issues and a lack of awareness as the main factors preventing them from increasing their use of digital services.
  • But there is no consensus among respondents on the most important improvements governments can make to digital services, ranging from making it easier to fully complete interactions online (19 percent) to increased awareness of digital services and how to access those (17 percent) to making digital service easier and quicker to use (15 percent).
Accenture determined the six characteristics of digital leaders through economic modeling that analyzed the impact of digitalization on the economy, workforce and innovation environment; a review of best practices at leading governments; information from documents proprietary to Accenture, including existing Delivering Public Service for the Future content and the 2014 Accenture Digital Citizen Pulse Survey. Citizen results are based on a sample of 6,624 citizens in the Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States who completed an online survey in December 2014. The survey, conducted by Market Strategies Group, has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Digital at Depth is the latest publication in Accenture’s Delivering Public Service for the Future series and follows For Richer, For Poorer? Government’s Role in Preserving Standard of Living. Accenture’s 2012 flagship study, Navigating the Shifts identified four profound structural shifts – moving from standardized to personalized services, reactive to insight driven, public management to public entrepreneurship, and piecemeal efficiency to mission productivity. Organizations doing this are delivering public service for the future – supporting a flourishing society, safe and secure nation and economic vitality for citizens.
Learn more about Delivering Public Service for the Future.
About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US $30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Footnotes/ citations:
1 Delivering Public Service for the Future in the New Digital Reality, Accenture, 2014, 
2 Accenture Achieving Digital Excellence report, 2013
3 Accenture Achieving Digital Excellence report, 2013
4 Accenture Achieving Digital Excellence report, 2013
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