Self-service Government: Redefining Citizen Engagement

These days, one doesn’t need to look far into the government sphere to find examples of how self-service is changing citizen engagement and service delivery.

At a federal level, the MyGov portal allows people to interact with agencies for tax and welfare.

States like NSW have also shifted to models where services from multiple agencies are integrated and accessed from a single place.

Internationally, the UK has embedded self-service at many levels of government and has put particular thought into the design principles that underpin its strategic direction.

All of these models were borne from a need to streamline the way citizens access government services – by making interactions frictionless and easy to access and use, all while retaining high levels of information security.

This offers the chance to significantly improve satisfaction with front-facing government services.

Similar shifts are occurring in the backend to support changes at the front.

Growing adoption of cloud to power digital government has propelled automation and self-service to the forefront of IT discussions.

I’ve seen firsthand how self-service and IT automation at the backend are helping governments achieve greater agility and faster deployment times for new citizen-facing services.

At NTT Communications ICT Solutions, my team scopes, configures and manages highly-certified, secure cloud environments for Australian government agencies.

We’ve spent much time over the last few years developing deeper self-service capabilities for our customers.

Our Cloud Management Platform (CMP), for example, is a self-service tool designed to help customers discover, gain visibility and control costs of the many cloud and network resources that combine to make up their IT environment.

Recent research we conducted found the typical company runs around 100 business applications across four separate cloud platforms, and that complexity is growing.

As well as helping IT to manage everything they have running, our Cloud Control tool acts as a service catalogue for internal users where they can request and consume compute resources without manual intervention by IT. The whole process – from ordering IT to having it set up ready for use – can be completely automated.

Increased automation has other benefits.

For example, putting together a new citizen-facing service can be faster and more cost effective when any repetitive and labour-intensive components are automated. The end result is also more accurate, with reduced risk of human error contaminating the data or processes, and increased security and confidence in the outcomes.

As can be seen, making things simpler and more automated in the backend has flow-on effects for everything that sits on top of it.

Taking that a step further, it is crucial that we get the technological foundation right for Australia to achieve its potential for front facing citizen engagement and service delivery in the digital era.

We’ve recently seen some of the dangers in missing the mark. Some high-profile failures of citizen-facing website and services, for example, underline the importance of getting the back-end right to power a secure, reliable front-end experience.

Australia’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said as much in an address in late May.

“Much of the productivity potential in the service sectors depend on IT, digital and better use of data,” Taylor said. 

“Of course, only those who work inside the IT sector really care about how we get there, but most of us do want easy to use digital channels.”

Together with our partners, we’re proud to be part of helping governments realise the benefits of digital transformation.

Our Australian data centres are ISO27001 and ISM compliant and are currently being used to serve Australian government customers with a mix of managed services and cloud services offered by our partners. By taking advantage of them, government agencies are freeing up valuable in-house resources to focus on technological answers to the next wave of policy challenges.

Contact us to find out more about how you can leverage our data centres and cloud services to support your digital transformation.

Gareth Cleeves min
Author Name: Gareth Cleeves

Gareth Cleeves is a Product Manager at NTT ICT, the Australian arm of NTT Communications.  He works with both products developed locally by NTT ICT, acting as the product owner and architect, as well as global products developed by NTT Communications, working to localise and commercialise products from across the...

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Added 2 August 2017

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