Certainly, government innovation did occur at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic. Agencies proved they could cut through red tape, respond to an emergency quickly, and provide needed services. However, the demands of constituents have continued to evolve since that time.
As a result, government innovation has reached a critical point. It can no longer be viewed as a stand-alone or auxiliary offering. Government innovation must be an integral part of all institutions and the delivery of its services. Plus, change must occur quickly as technology and constituent needs change rapidly.
Government Faces Considerable Barriers
The UN E-Government Survey 2022 states digital transformation in the public sector is very slow due to many factors.
Firstly, government innovation is severely impeded by bureaucratic red tape. Secondly, the public sector often lacks in-house resources to tackle such a diverse and complicated task. Thirdly, aging professionals are heading into retirement leaving a huge talent gap.
Finally, government shutdowns and wage and furlough freezes during the pandemic made the public sector less attractive to millennials, further widening the skills gap.
New Approach Necessary
Government innovation must increase speed, agility, accountability, and efficiency to better serve the public. However, digitizing existing bureaucracies will not address these challenges. Governments must initiate a top-down change in how they approach innovation.
Internal silos that divide IT systems must give way to departmental collaboration. Governments must focus on human-centred public services that respond to what the community wants and needs.
Government innovation must also include more access to data and greater connectivity to improve accountability, reduce corruption, and increase user trust. Additionally, government institutions must provide the highest levels of data privacy and security available.
Can it be done? Yes, some countries already provide their constituents with a safe, efficient, and quick way to access public services.
As an example, Estonia has used an electronic identity system for 20 years, with the e-ID at the centre of the country’s e-state. This e-ID is used for digital authentication and signatures, national health insurance, shopping, access to financial services, filing taxes, voting online, prescriptions, and more. 99% of Estonian residents have the card and 99% of state services are online.
Public-Private Collaboration Vital
Clearly, accelerating government innovation is a huge task. However, governments can collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to achieve success. The private sector is less risk adverse, more focused on technology innovation, and moves at a much faster pace.
Consequently, collaboration can lead to iterative work and rapid prototyping. It can also increase cost-efficiency, scalability, and agility with multiple technological options available. Data-driven tools can also diagnose complex and cross-functional issues to create better business operations and technical workflows.
Perhaps most importantly, collaboration can help governments gather data to measure how to best engage users. This leads to better policies and better use of any investments in government innovation.
Creating a Government Innovation Strategy
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes all nations must become “dynamic innovation platforms”. Otherwise, they can’t achieve vigorous long-term growth or increased productivity. As a result, a lack of innovation is actually detrimental to public welfare.
Understandably, governments may find it difficult to adapt to the new digital future. They tend to stick with what has always been done, instead of exploring cutting edge solutions. However, the right partner can connect them with innovative trailblazers who can help them reach and serve more people.
EarlyBirds offers expertise, Subject Matter Experts, and an expansive marketplace of new and disruptive technologies. We also offer unique programs for ad hoc or supplementary needs, as well as ongoing transformational support.
EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem
The EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem is a Business-to-Business portal connecting Innovators, Early Adopters, and Subject Matter Experts. Early Adopters are leaders or influencers in an organisation eager to identify new and disruptive technologies. They want to seize opportunities, solve business challenges, or create new products and services.
The Ecosystem has a data pool of over 4 million global innovations that may already address your organization’s challenges. Alternatively, organisations can list their challenges and request solutions from innovators.
EarlyBirds Explorer Program
The Explorer Program is tailored towards those who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects when required.
EarlyBirds Challenger Program
The Challenger Program focuses on a single organisational or technical challenge. It looks for the most relevant innovators that meet your organisational, technical, and risk requirements.
The program is run by an EarlyBirds Subject Matter Expert who identifies your key issues. The SME then searches the data pool to identify and curate options for further evaluation. The most suitable option is chosen and the SME drafts a roadmap of next steps, POC, trial, or implementation.
EarlyBirds helps governments plot a path towards innovation. Our resources deliver innovative solutions and expertise. We’ve helped the Public Sector, and many other businesses in Retail, the Food Industry, Operations & Maintenance, Manufacturing, Finance & Insurance, Energy, Education, Cybersecurity, and more.
If you’re interested in partnering for success, please register at https://earlybirds.io/, or contact us to discuss your needs.