How politicians and public managers can foster smart government in Switzerland
Mio. CHF annual savings for businesses in Switzerland
More trust in government authorities
Time savings for citizens and civil servants
Reduction in crimes such as assault and burglary
The playbook has been designed to help politicians and public managers jump-start their efforts to implement smart government.
In cooperation with the Smart Government Lab at University of St. Gallen, PwC has analyzed various use cases to identify four enablers that enhance the capability to unleash the promising potential of Smart Government sucessfully.
Let’s start the dialogue and move forward with courage and determination to make our government ‘smarter’.
Smart government solutions are able to significantly improve certain strategic and operational decisions in both politics and public administration. This eventually creates potential in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.
Nowaday citizens and companies expect public services to be as convenient as those provided by the private sector. In a nutshell, it’s about paying more attention to user experience and user journeys to make public services for citizens and companies more user-friendly, effective and efficient.
Authorities have three strong assets that are crucial when developing innovative solutions: (1) vast pools of data records, (2) direct access to citizens and companies, and (3) scalability. By sharing these assets with third parties, either within public administration or with other sectors, public administration can trigger innovative and collaborative solutions in line with the ‘government-as-a-platform’ idea.
New applications and formats, both analogue and digital, allow more direct and intense interaction and collaboration between public administrations and citizens, civil society and business. While such use cases address e-voting potential as well, the focus is more on the potential for e-participation, i.e. participation that goes beyond political rights.
‘Don’t forget the humans!’ If we’ve learned anything from the e-government initiatives of the last twenty years, it’s that technology is the least of our problems. It’s an enabling factor, a necessary prerequisite, but one that is generally present. If digitisation fails, the cause is usually humans. So it’s time to go beyond our fascination with technology and think about concrete implementation – together with the people who will be using these technologies.
Smart government requires cross-departmental leadership and strategy prioritising and committing to concrete objectives and investments – based on a broad and challenging alignment process.
Public administration needs to perform new tasks and give temporary impetus to centralisation to push the transformation and bundle resources.
Public administration needs to develop new capabilities. This requires dedicated investments.
New cultural and service design principles:
Smart government requires new cultural and service design principles focusing on innovation, agility and entrepreneurship, datadriven culture, collaboration and digital solution design.
New HR approach:
Public administrations must adapt their recruiting and training criteria and career models to respond to emerging new skill requirements.
Political commitment and public discourse:
Smart government is a long-term mission entailing initial investment, certain risks and a degree of resentment. This calls for strong political commitment and public discourse.
Digital awareness in society:
Digital awareness is a prerequisite for smart government, and citizens must be empowered to participate in smart government solutions.
Clear nationwide governance:
Smart government requires nationwide collaboration within the political system. Roles and mandates therefore need to be clearly defined to avoid redundancies and unaligned investment and assure legal foundations and compatible technical systems.
Uncertainty about legal and data protection implications hinders smart government. A nationwide effort to identify regulatory needs is necessary.
IT infrastructure and standards:
To scale up benefits, authorities need to intensify collaboration in procurement, design and hosting and invest more in interoperable, modular and re-usablesolutions.
Our experts have gathered a wealth of experience in digital transformation and smart government, both in Switzerland and internationally. They’ll be happy to discuss and share this experience with you. The support we’ve provided to clients in public administration and other sectors in Switzerland and abroad ranges from:
Partner and Advisory Services Leader, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 16 13