Quantity, not quality – annual report says Europe ‘must do better’

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The report on the annual eGovernment Benchmark Measurement of European eGov services has just been released. Now in its eleventh year, and once again conducted by Capgemini, the report is based on elaborate assessment of online public services in the EU28+ countries as well as a survey of more than 28,000 citizens from across the […]

The report on the annual eGovernment Benchmark Measurement of European eGov services has just been released. Now in its eleventh year, and once again conducted by Capgemini, the report is based on elaborate assessment of online public services in the EU28+ countries as well as a survey of more than 28,000 citizens from across the EU member states.

It certainly makes for interesting reading. That’s because it is clear Europe’s governments still have much to do to catch up with the digital experience offered by commercial sector organizations. As an example, the survey found that citizens were significantly more satisfied by the services provided by banks (satisfaction 8.5 out of 10) than for regular public services (satisfaction 6.5 out of 10).  

So what do other key findings in the latest report – covering the year 2013 – tell us about the state of Europe’s digital public service delivery and uptake? Chiefly, what we’re seeing is an environment of ‘quantity over quality’ – whilst government online services are now widely in place, usage of them has slowed. A lack of transparency (one of the survey’s four benchmark measures) is undoubtedly a reason for this, but not the only one.

There has also been insufficient rollout of both the key enablers (another benchmark) such as e-ID and e-Documents, and innovative technical approaches.
The report makes recommendations for changing the current state-of-play, including taking an outside-in design approach to services, one that involves the customer to improve the user experience. 

There’s also a recommendation for more joined up governance with, for example, efficient implementation of once-only registration. New, more transparent operating models and the exploitation of SMAC (social media, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies are other key recommendations.

Digital transformation is clearly happening – but not fast enough for both the EC and today’s tech-savvy citizens.

Download the 2013 eGovernment Benchmark report ‘Delivering the European Advantage’.

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