Saturday 22 January 2022

Ismail Alani

Pandemic 'led govts to focus on people-centric policies’

RIYADH, June 14, 2021

Digital technology, cloud platforms, collaboration with other governments, and new partnerships with industry backed by upskilled civil servants will transform how governments function in the 21st-century public interest, a report said.

Titled “Modernizing Government”, KPMG’s latest report on global trends in public administrations, presents insights from a study into evolving modus operandi in governments of eight major economies including Saudi Arabia. Aside from assessing the handling of service delivery, supply chain and back-office operations, the study also envisions the pandemic as an opportunity, a springboard for advancements in remote working, agile policy making and rapid service design.

The KPMG report examines the new trend of a modernized government which is customer-centric, agile, digitally enabled and inspired for future change. KPMG believes that reliance on robust business cases, costly and time-consuming planning and extensive programmer “big builds” are now poised to give way to a new model.

In response to the pandemic challenges, the Saudi government rapidly established new services and ways of working, including the setting up of new temporary hospitals, digital health solutions, supply chains, mobile apps, call centres and rapid economic stimulus packages.

“Saudi Arabia has seen a much more self-forgiving government that is taking action as needed while allowing itself to perfect its approach late. Acting fast rather than acting ‘spot on’ has become the norm. This is especially tangible in the digitalization of the customer experience, where a certain level of error and risk is now allowed to implement new technologies,” said Ismail Alani, Head of Government and Public Sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

Customer-centric future

The study emphases that the future is consumer-centric –consumer including all stakeholders including citizens, businesses and other organizations– transforming public services to meet constituent needs and expectations. It finds that today’s consumers are more informed, connected and demanding than ever. And while they have come to expect the highest standards of personalization, choice, speed, satisfaction and security in every digital interaction, the pandemic has served to heighten consumer expectations surrounding the customer experience.

Governments’ stakeholders want to be treated like valued customers. The report indicates that government leaders will have to evolve the culture within and across their government entities by establishing a new ‘outward-looking mindset’, providing citizens with the opportunity to co-design government services via their input and feedback - paradigm shifts in attitude.

Modern government mindset

The report concludes that a modern government is agile, responsive and trusted. Governments can continue to evolve by building new capabilities that ideally will position them to readily move in and out of the roles that they hold in providing public programs and services. Through leveraging on new capabilities to harness the data, advanced analytics and actionable insights, governments can gather a real-time understanding of public stakeholders and how best to shape and deliver services. A modern digital ecosystem positions the government to provide any service to any person or business on any platform using any device will be a key enabling factor.

The KPMG report focused on Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US. – TradeArabia News Service


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