Alex Benay, CIO Canada – Digital Government Vision and Best Practices

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Governments all over the world are consistently outpaced by digital change, and are falling behind.

Digital government is a better performing government. It is better at providing services people and businesses need. Receiving benefits, accessing health records, registering companies, applying for licences, voting ― all of this can be done online or through digital self-service. Digital technology makes government more efficient, reduces hassle, and lowers costs. But what will it take to make governments digital?

Good governance will take nothing short of a metamorphosis of the public sector. With contributions from industry, academic, and government experts ― including Hillary Hartley, chief digital officer for Ontario, and Salim Ismail, founder of Singularity University ― Government Digital lays down a blueprint for this radical change.

Digital Action Plan

In this Youtube video Alex shares eight essential points that governments must adopt in the 21st century:

  1. Digital is everything we do. IT is no longer a back-office function, it’s the entirety of how government needs to work.
  2. From linear to exponential. The snail-like RFP procurement approach that takes years to deliver big bang projects is no longer fit for purpose. Agencies must work within high velocity digital ecosystems.
  3. Policy and legislation needs to keep up. The lawmaking procedures must change the same way. Countries that change their laws to accommodate trends like Blockchain will be the economic winners of the 21st century.
  4. Operate in the Open – New tools are available to work openly and engage citizens and stakeholders and should be used as much as possible.
  5. Embrace the digital community – Accept the fact government is no longer the sole expert and work collaboratively with others in key areas like AI.
  6. Adopt open source software – Especially in front-facing, customer engagement areas where this can encourage collaboration with sectors like academia.
  7. Harness the Gig Economy – HR practices must also transform and adapt to the new world, becoming more agile and able to harness those seeking more of a gig economy portfolio career.
  8. Digital First mindset – An absolute foundation of success is that wherever possible the first option for service delivery should be digital.

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