European governments cautiously accelerate their digital performance
The diversity and ingenuity of Europe allow for public sector innovation but what can states do to keep up citizens’ expectations? The eGovernment Benchmark looks at how public services can be made ‘twice as good, in half the time, for half as much’.
Europe's Digital Potential
The eGovernment Benchmark evaluates the priority areas of the eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015. The latest research shows that while European governments succeed in gradually bringing more services online, they should put more emphasis on developing eGovernment services that truly empower citizens and businesses. These services should be:
- Online available – in 60% of services information and/or a transaction can be done online
- Mobile friendly – at the moment, only 1 in 3 public websites is easy to read and navigate on a mobile device
- Online and easy to use – though more services are brought online, the user experience is not advancing
- Transparent – only in half of the cases, governments provide sufficient information about how a service is delivered
Building digital capabilities can bring acceleration and help governments deliver on the potential of digital.
What we found:
- Europe is gaining in digital maturity…: the online availability of services at EU28+ level reached 81% (+9 points since 2013) and online usability (+4 points since 2013)
- …but mostly through a ‘digital diagonal’ in Europe: The performance of the countries varies widely and there is a difference of 68 percentage points between the best and worst performing countries in the EU. The gap between the best performers in the ‘Digital Diagonal’ of countries from the South-West to the North-East of Europe and the other European countries is widening.
- Better cross border mobility for businesses: the user friendliness of public services for foreign business is more advanced, than the user friendliness of citizen-related services.
- Little progress in the uptake of key technological enablers: European governments use technologies such as eID, or Single Sign On somewhat more, but progress is clearly slower in this area than it is for other benchmark indicators.
Find out how these findings compare to last year’s report.
In-depth look into some key findings
New technologies and models offer governments to apply innovative solutions to deliver better, faster, and cheaper services.
We put forward 3 key recommendations for European public sector organizations to transform to digital.
Governments should put more emphasis on developing eGovernment services that truly empower citizens and businesses.
Governments need to move from ‘conservatives’ to ‘digital masters’ by using technology to digitise their organisation and realise efficiency gains. This for instance means:
- Re-use of data to pre-fill online forms: which is only happening in 49% of cases
- Invest and implement key enablers: this benchmark seems to stagnate
- Orient of services can be made mandatory online: this is becoming common practice for businesses eServices , for citizens this is still just a trend in only few countries in Europe
- Interoperable online cross-border services: not a reality yet, resulting in burdensome F2F and paper processes
Government should invest more in developing its own digital capabilities in order to deliver on the digital potential and explore new business model
- Effectively leading eGovernment projects require up-to-date skills and understanding of technological opportunities: by leadership and at all other levels
- Research shows knowledge and skills of ICT of civil servants might not be sufficient to drive digital transformation of public sector.