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Digital, Digitization, and Digitalization are no longer buzzwords for us. They have penetrated various industries, upturned markets, and compelled even laggards to become early adopters. The impact of this word has reverberated within the government space, making it embrace the path of ‘Digital Transformation’.
In a recent survey conducted among 800 Govt. Officials globally, COVID-19 has been a major propeller that has pushed the governments to venture into digital initiatives and adopt it as a secondary medium of communication, the primary one still being traditional. Who’s to say it won’t become predominantly digital in the years to come?!
However, this wasn't an easy task as it included creating/revamping digital assets and its acceptance among government employees to manage the entire cycle.
What must have been the challenges? How successfully has ‘Digital’ been accepted? What have been the probable bottlenecks? Well, here’s an experiential take on it all.
Let us first start by understanding what ‘Being Digital’ means. Is it just about the ‘act’ of making it look trendy or an effort made to be a part of the ‘innovative cycle’? Is it merely restricted to the adoption of technology or developing a change in the way the citizens think?
During the pandemic, when the world came to a halt and the plausible way to connect was merely left to the ‘Digital model’, a lot of governments were seen putting their best foot forward and capitalizing on this opportunity.
But this was never an easy journey - right from the struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing load on websites, endless emails, queries, questions, searches, and upkeep of digital records to having the attitudinal shift and being attuned to this wave, not just at the senior hierarchy but overall, required a systematic approach.
A dream that dates back to 2015 came into fruition in the last few years. This initiative aimed toward being digital not just to impose certain mandates but to inculcate willingness to be a part of this paradigm shift. This included: -
Creating a Digital Infrastructure - Making Digital a ‘utility’ for the citizens by providing the necessary digital interventions that were needed for a full-fledged mechanism.
Providing fundamental services digitally - Minimizing paper wastage and maximizing the ability to make self-help portals.
Digital Empowerment of Citizens - Making people aware of Digital as a medium and a platform by emphasizing the benefits that it brings.
This initiative strived to bring inclusive growth and bridge the digital divide by leveraging technology solutions that are low cost, developmental, transformative and designed to empower ordinary Indians.
Apps, emails, online forms, communities, and group chats - Digital has entered a space which was earlier restricted to rusty files and endless paperwork. The citizens were used to a certain mode, a certain style of working within the government space. The advent of digital technology, especially in the government sector - state or central, brought about a shift in the way people think and approach the task. From drawing margins on the paper to formatting an excel, complying with this ‘CHANGE’ is a struggle that is tackled one step at a time.
Digital Adoption by the Government has been made possible by leveraging the following factors:-
Ace The Data Game: Data is the key for any entity that is undergoing digital transformation. Bundle up the siloed, unstructured data into a structured way that could be accessible and used for drawing effective conclusions and inferences. Not just this, it is essential to have an equally robust security system intact as well.
Work on the Infrastructure: Robust digital transformation requires a lot of work and rework on the infrastructure, making it shift from a paper-centric organization to one that’s progressing to a data-driven approach.
Skill the Workforce: Adoption needs to be well accepted by the employees in place so that they enjoy the process and do not feel burdened because of it. This can be possible once the utility of this change has been well elucidated upon.
Digital Asset- Creation and Maintenance: Right from the website and app to forms, links and social presence - It is essential to have everything well in place with the correct updated data and no broken links.
Enhanced Customer Experience: Digital entities/government organizations have a lot of touchpoints with citizens, right from alerts/messages/emails/websites etc. All these communications should be seamless.
Digital has also entered the startup space and in doing so, it has disrupted every sector and introduced innovations in our everyday lives. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that startups have become role model for the youth in India. To help these enterprising startups realize their potential, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched the Startup India Virtual showcase - an online discovery platform for the most promising startups in the country. The platform will provide startups with unparalleled opportunities to showcase their innovations. Each startup will have a profile page that will provide the startups with networking opportunities and a detailed pitch about their product, innovation, and USPs. The repository of the Startup India virtual showcase facilitates investors to discover startups for potential investment opportunities. Government stakeholders can discover startups with the potential to improve public service delivery. During such virtual showcase events, corporate sectors look at collaborating with emerging startups to showcase their innovation.
India, as a nation, has taken a leap toward digital adoption. Building on this momentum will result in a strong, transparent and vibrant economy.
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