Brits demand smarter digital government services
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Sep 28, 2015
Although online government services save time and money for citizens, businesses and government agencies, improvements in those services could have a significant impact. That’s the conclusion of a new survey about digital government in the United Kingdom, where businesses reported spending more than 33 working days a year grappling with outdated government digital services.
Consumer technology has become the yardstick by which users measure online service. The EMC report, The Future of Digital Government, found that 65 percent of citizens and 60 percent of businesses believe the government’s online services lag behind those used by private-sector companies, such as Amazon or Facebook.
Businesses would most like to see improvements in digital tax services -- for instance, by receiving reminders of due dates for forms and payments. Other areas cited for improvement include consolidated information related to tax grants and business breaks, and updated health and safety regulations.
Citizens’ wish list includes the ability to use just one ID for interacting with the government and better online health services, such as downloadable e-prescriptions.
Like citizens in the Unites States, British citizens seem to distrust digital government. Forty-five percent of respondents do not want to share their data with any part of the government or public sector.
Individual and companies advocated simpler navigation and language, and 50 percent of respondents said they would like the option of speaking with a person if necessary.
To create an effective digital platform, the report’s authors recommend that governments build their online services so that citizens, public-sector organizations and businesses can securely and easily collaborate. Such a platform would feature:
- Built-in automatic scaling, high availability, security, logging and dynamic routing.
- A frictionless developer experience so that apps work without having to deal with complexities around network, load balancing or firewalls.
- An extensible service environment so that there is seamless integration between services such as Hadoop, MySQL, Redis and MongoDB.
- Portability across cloud platforms so that apps can move to different environments as needed.
Although the survey covered consumers and businesses in the U.K., Americans also demand efficient customer service and the latest technology, and all levels of government should consider the report’s recommendations.
Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.