Government tech needs to improve, survey shows

Tuesday, 14 March, 2017

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Almost all Australians believe they would benefit from government utilising the latest technology for service delivery, according to a new survey.

However, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) survey found that people believe government would not be as efficient as other industries when it came to using the latest technology.

Only a small proportion of respondents strongly agreed that the Commonwealth (16%), state (14%) and local governments (12%) are using technology very well to deliver services to their customers.

Almost three quarters of Australians said the main benefit they see from government using the latest technology is to improve the quality and accuracy of the services it delivers.

“What this result says to me is that even though there have been some misfires recently when it comes to execution, such as the Census outages and the Centrelink errors, Australians want the government to progress and improve its use of technology rather than regress back to the ‘old’ way of doing things,” said AIIA Chief Executive Officer Rob Fitzpatrick.

“The economic benefits from having a digital economy are well known, and there is clear opportunity for government to take the lead and speed up Australia’s digital transformation.”

Almost two thirds of Australians (64%) believe that the approach to government service delivery that would provide the best experience for customers is to deliver services through a combination of automated channels and customer-facing service personnel. However, a breakdown of the demographics reflects generational differences in comfort and experience with technology. 19% of Gen Y and 13% of Gen X believe that the best approach would be fully automated services, whereas only 6% of baby boomers and 4% of traditionalists feel the same way.

On the other hand, 26% of traditionalists would like to remove all automation and have services provided by people in customer-facing service centres.

“We are seeing a generational shift based on the exposure and usage rates of technology among different age groups. While a blend of automated and customer-facing services makes sense now, we can see how future generations will be comfortable relying far more on technology to meet their needs. I expect we’ll see our government services evolve over time to reflect these changes,” said Fitzpatrick.  

The full results of the survey will be presented and discussed at AIIA’s 2017 Navigating Digital Government Summit at Hotel Realm, Canberra on 5 April. 

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