Gov on the Go - Boosting public sector productivity by going mobile | Whitepaper
Globalisation, advanced manufacturing processes, and a deeper understanding of individual and organisational psychology have all led to huge productivity gains in the private sector over the last couple decades. But the single most significant contribution to this growth in productivity has been the private sector’s ability to harness the disruptive power of technology and to use it to invent better and more efficient processes.
The public sector, on the other hand, has been unable to keep pace, despite, in some cases, eventually adopting similar technologies. At the same time that private sector productivity grew, productivity in the public sector actually fell. A productivity gap has emerged between the public and private sectors - one widened by government’s inability to dynamically absorb and capitalise on new technologies like we’ve seen in the private sector.
Mobile technology, a very powerful productivity booster, offers the public sector a chance to hit the reset button. It can not only improve internal communications and access to information within public agencies, but also enable the government to fully redesign service delivery by leveraging the power of citizens as co-creators. Mobile presents the public sector with a unique opportunity to drive efficiency and productivity and - at the same time - create vast improvements in the services it provides citizens.
To take just one example, our analysis shows that if the U.S. Federal government’s adoption of mobile was to double to 70 percent, additional value generated (in terms of government output) could exceed $50 billion annually.
This report examines three key areas where mobile acts as an enabler of productivity for the government and its citizens:
- The mobile government worker. Mobile technology not only helps front-line workers do more with less in the face of shrinking workforces and tightly stretched budgets, but also allows them to do their jobs better. No longer constrained by location or time, field workers - human services caseworkers, emergency responders, and law enforcement officers - can operate as truly mobile workers and remain productive on the go.
- Citizen services 2.0. Globally, mobile Internet users are expected to exceed desktop Internet users by 2015.1 Mobile technology offers great promise in making interaction with government easier, requiring less of citizens’ time, money, and effort. Myriad mobile applications - from apps that provide basic information on public services to sophisticated sensor- and GPS-enabled, real-time, “thinking” apps - have opened fresh channels of exchange between citizens and the government.
- Co-creation and co-production: Citizens as the solution. Mobile technology allows governance to shift from one-way service delivery to a more collaborative, co-designed, and co-created model. As citizens come to play a more active role rather than being passive recipients, public service delivery can be transformed. Greater emphasis on creating solutions with citizens rather than just for them improves not just service delivery, but also the way the government approaches a problem.
Making mobile the standard
The effectiveness of mobile in the public sector will depend largely on how it is implemented. These seven steps can help the public sector capture productivity benefits from mobile:
- Rethink business processes
- Define the problem you are trying to solve
- Adopt a “mobile first” approach
- Focus on user experience
- Use iterative design: Prototype, test, prototype again
- Make mobile a source of security, not a threat
- Define a governance structure
Government agencies aren’t the only organisations
struggling to adapt to mobile technology. Many private companies struggle with this as well. But if mobile is a challenge, it is also an opportunity: a chance for the public sector to start closing the productivity gap, reassess its business practices, boost its efficiency, and renegotiate its relationship with the public it serves. Used right, mobile can transform government’s capabilities.
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