Local government units in both Australia and New Zealand have begun to implement or are already implementing defined digital strategies for business transformation as of the fourth quarter of 2022.
Last November 6th, 2022, TechnologyOne and Local Government Professionals Australia presented their annual Digital Transformation Index Report for Local Government in which they noted that 42% of local governments in both countries already have a defined digital transformation strategy and 37% have their own software as a service (SaaS) migration strategies. This is a marked improvement from 2021 figures wherein only 13% responded that they had implemented a strategy of any sort.
For TechnologyOne’s local government industry director Peter Suchting, this is a positive development as it signifies an increasing commitment among local governments to opt for better quality software as a way of improving both operational efficiency as well as employee experience. Local councils that are simplifying things through the creation of integrated solutions are expected to see major improvements in their operations over the next several years.
What Drove the Digital Shift?
Based on the numbers, the main reason behind this increase in the adoption of cloud solutions is the way organizations needed to shift their work habits during the pandemic. But the need for improved customer relations and better service delivery is not far behind.
The majority of council respondents – 76% of the intake – cited their customers’ need for them to become more progressive through a transition to digital systems. Another 34% likewise stated that they considered an improved customer experience as their impetus for digital transformation.
Both reasons actually ranked higher than other driving factors, including reduced operational costs, online security, and even standards compliance.
Suchting explains that these insights are proof that government councils can be influenced by external factors in the same way as other businesses. That said, local governments need to lead by example by making the most out of their use of cloud computing in order to show other sectors how it’s done.
Not All Councils
But this does not mean that all local governments in the Antipodean region have easily transitioned to the cloud.
Many councils across both Australia and New Zealand remain challenged by a number of aspects of digital transformation, including change management and its impact on primary resources, as well as access to digital resources. Indeed, the survey noted that only 10% of the councils that responded had a dedicated director for digital transformation on their staff.
Nevertheless, Suchting is optimistic that this is bound to change as more local governments ramp up their transformation strategies in the coming years.