Paris, October 21, 2019 – Capgemini has launched the 2019 eGovernment Benchmark, its annual study of digital public services availability, for the European Commission. The results show that overall, European governments succeeded in improving the seamless delivery of online services to citizens and companies. Citizens and businesses can now interact more frequently with public entities online and benefit from higher online service quality. The study, led by Capgemini and jointly carried out with its subsidiary Sogeti and consortium partners, IDC and Politecnico di Milano, shows that governments are increasingly capable of empowering Europeans through trusted digital public services.
The 16th edition of the eGovernment Benchmark continues to shed light on the status of Europe’s digital government transformation. It reviews to what extent public sector organizations are doing what it takes to deliver higher levels of online public services. Services under assessment this year are clustered in four ‘life events’: starting up a business, family matters, losing and finding a job, and studying . By assessing over 10,000 websites across 36 European countries , the study reveals that public sector institutions in Europe continue to bring more services online. However, trusted interaction channels via which users can communicate, send official documents and authenticate their credentials, are not yet fully deployed. Results also show that levels of transparency, in terms of service delivery, responsibilities and performance of public organizations, and personal data processing in public services, can be improved.
Heading towards trusted digital public services
Overall, eGovernment performance is rising (standing at an overall EU28+ average of 65%). At the same time, the most challenged countries are closing the gap with the leaders. A sizable gap of 53 percentage points for the 2012-2015 period has decreased to 42 percentage points, showing that those countries lagging behind raised their game substantially and now contribute to a more balanced European digital single market . All countries particularly excel in user centricity (at 85%), showing the fruits of the EU28+ efforts in providing usable and mobile friendly services that are available online. The average cross-border mobility score is the lowest of the four main research pillars (at 53%), implying that European citizens are not yet able to make use of eGovernment services in other countries beyond information searches. The averages for key enablers such as electronic IDs (eIDs) and electronic documents (58%), as well as transparency (62%) sit in the middle. Thus, user needs for clearly described service processes and secured ways to exchange service-related documents digitally, are not being met in full.
Niels van der Linden, Capgemini Invent’s eGovernment Benchmark project lead notes: “The 2019 results are testimony to European governments not settling for fairly good services, but continuously striving to improve their online service delivery. There is a need to further develop personalized and transparent user experiences though. A next step for Europe will be to establish fully borderless services with trusted authentication. This will enable citizens and businesses to apply for online services in another country without barriers, as if they were country nationals.”
Effortless user-journeys are key
eGovernment user-journeys often begin at search engines and central government portals. In general, it is easy to find services on the main website of governmental institutions, and users can nearly always find general information about services online. However, descriptions of service processes are more often clearly described for business services than for citizen services. Users require more information on the duration, response deadlines and progress updates. Whenever users decide to obtain a service online, they want to use their eID. A positive aspect is the possibility to use a single national online identifier, which enables secure and trustworthy authentication of citizens and businesses . Furthermore, secured digital communication is key, for instance to keep track of service progress. This communication with the authorities could further be improved by making digital post-boxes mainstream (now at 63%), thereby saving time and paper.
Dinand Tinholt, Capgemini Invent’s EU Account Executive states: “Many citizens and businesses now easily flow through the online user-journeys designed by governments. Public entities shape end-to-end services that guide users through full processes and all relevant steps. Upcoming smart support channels powered by Artificial Intelligence, like chatboxes and chatbots, are expected to ensure even further effortless public services.”
For more information or to download the report, visit: eGovernment-Benchmark-Infographic
More information about the digital agenda of the European Union can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/
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