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Australian digital government—Shaping services around citizens

Government agencies must clearly communicate their services around trust and convenience to win citizens over with digital.


Four key challenges

As more Australian government services move online, we asked citizens and business owners what they think about the current state of the government’s digital services.

While demand for digital services is high, satisfaction and awareness levels remain low.

Agencies must continue to shape services around user needs if digital government is to deliver better outcomes.

Key Findings

Our research in 2015 found four key challenges for the growth and adoption of digital government services in Australia:

1. Raising


People are not aware what digital government services are available to them.



2. Privacy & Personal 


People are wary about information being shared between agencies and with the private sector.



3. Simplification

People think that the range of the government services offered is too complex and fragmented.



4. Personalisation

People want a service that is tailored to them, with a human voice and automation in the right place.


Raising Awareness

           People do not have a full understanding of  
          what government services are on offer.

                      This is a roadblock to citizens realising the full convenience of digital services. 
                 More must be done to promote the benefits.
are not aware of what services are available.
know where to find the right services and answers.
rarely use digital channels for government services.
say it is important that they understand which government department the service is coming from.
Government has to
cater for a digitally
literate community
and those who have
little ability or desire
to use new channels.


       Concerns over privacy remain the biggest 

         roadblock to increased digital interactions.

                      People feel that too much information is asked of them and are wary about
                       data being shared between agencies and with the private sector.

said that the government does not keep their
data adequately secure.

 want assurance of privacy and security.

say that too much data is requested of them.

of small to medium-sized businesses are much more comfortable than
citizens with sharing data.
The assurance of privacy and security
is a critical step to encourage
adoption of digital channels.


Governments can win this trust by simplifying their offerings.

Currently people think that the range of government services offered is too complex and fragmented.
Agency touch points must work together smartly to collect and share the right information at the right
time so users don't have to re-submit details.

say that the range of services is
too complex and fragmented.

say government services are 
easy to use.

of small to medium-sized 
businesses want a ''one stop shop''.


People want a service that is tailored to them, with a
human voice and automation in the right places.
consider personalisation
want to be able to speak to a
person for their specific needs.
want information organised by their
needs rather than by department.


In order to meet these challenges,

agencies in Australia must take a

design-led approach with deep and

continuous research into the needs of

end users. Only then will they be able

to provide seamless experiences that

inspire trust and confidence.

Shaping the government around citizens will not happen overnight and must be undertaken agency-by-agency, with careful monitoring of outcomes. Not all touch points are alike, and citizens want a very different experience when paying a fine compared with receiving healthcare information, for example.

That said, awareness-raising, privacy, simplification and personalisation are issues that affect every agency, and can form the basis of some quick wins in building trust with citizens.

This trust is the key. Once the government is trusted sufficiently to collect vital data can it be truly tailored around the people it serves.

Catherine Garner

Managing Director
Health & Public Service, Australia and
New Zealand

Bronwyn van der Merwe

Group Director
Fjord Australia and New Zealand

Connect with us


Visit our digital government page for
Australia and New Zealand
Join in the discussion on Linkedin