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Govt shift to digital could save Australians up to 14 hours every year

If Australia's government agencies invested in greater digital transformation, Australians could have more than one working day per year in extra time saved.

A new report by Adobe and Deloitte, titled Rethinking the Digital Dividend Report, found that on average, Australians' interactions with government agencies, both federal and state, lose eight hours per year on time-consuming tasks such as filling out and posting forms, standing in line, or phone calls in which they are on hold.

in some cases, those in regional Australia waste 14 hours per year on issues including travel for in-person transactions.  This is especially evident in demographics such as pensioners and those who access social security.

Adobe notes that government agencies still use traditional and digital channels to deliver services, however digital transactions are already overtaking traditional channels.

The report found that digital platforms handled 825 million government service transactions, while traditional channels facilitated 290 million transactions.

The report suggests that if government agencies implemented a shared digital infrastructure, the customer experience would be more consistent and save more time.

That change could also bring cost savings to governments by as much as $17.9 billion over a decade. That is being held back by a lag in the amount of government employees moving to digital roles – instead they are staying in traditional roles.

If governments don't implement digital experience platforms that meet Australians' demands, those agencies could face disengagement and a customer perception that the government isn't as operating as effectively as it could be.

“We know that Australians have the highest expectations in the world when it comes to online experience, as revealed in the 2019 Adobe Experience Index.  It makes sense that they would demand high standard digital interactions with government agencies too,” comments Adobe principal digital strategist, John Mackenney.

 “The technology is available now, and it is accessible and affordable, so there is no reason why government shouldn't be investing in digital transformation.

Deloitte Access Economics partner John O'Mahony adds that it's understandable that there are barriers to going digital, but governments really need to focus on consistent digital experience that benefit Australians.

The report suggests six steps for digital transformation:

  • Create a shared sense of commitment to improving government services
  • Simplify the number and complexity of services for targeted citizen and business groups
  • Build and operate the digital platforms that support unification and harmonisation of services
  • Measure and analyse the data that citizens share to improve their experiences
  • Review business case guidance to enable the real value of citizen experience benefits to be measured to justify investment
  • Put customers at the core of decision making and progress open data initiatives that support citizen trust, transparency, and user control.
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