Australia has long been a pioneer of innovation within service delivery of mainstream government programmes through engagement with the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. Since the late 1990s, government has collaborated, connected people and providers and coordinated groundbreaking public service delivery models of the future for labour market services for jobseekers. In recent years, this approach has expanded to support emerging marketplaces for individualised support services for people accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care services.
In the digital era, this service delivery approach is referred to as Government as a Platform (GaaP). Government as a Platform embraces the people, process and digital backbone infrastructure to enable government and non-governmental organisations to deploy next-generation public service delivery. This approach encourages government agencies to use data analytics to achieve enhanced levels of transparency and ensure lines of accountability and responsibility are managed throughout the value chain.
Digital is already radically shifting how agencies deliver public services, especially as lines blur between government, business and civil society. Public service executives globally are placing bets on emerging technology as they shape services—70 per cent plan to invest in artificial intelligence in the next year, and 67 per cent plan to invest in internet of things.1
Who is ready for Government as a Platform?
Accenture looked at which factors play a crucial role for implementing Government as a Platform. We found that even for the countries that score highest in terms of readiness (Singapore and the United Kingdom), there is still room to improve across all dimensions of Government as a Platform: building the foundation, fostering a mindset of change and innovation, enabling economic growth and innovating for public service delivery.
The Accenture Government as a Platform Readiness Index ranked Singapore as leader when it comes to innovating for public service delivery. Australia is ranked marginally behind the leading group of countries. The result may reflect that while Australia’s business level of thinking and implementation was ahead of the rest of the world in the late 1990s, other countries have crept ahead with more recent innovative approaches to digital adoption.
RELATED: Government as a platform: 2018 GaaP Readiness Index
Imagine a connected world
Government as a Platform is more than any one methodology. It’s a holistic approach, in which the public sector collaborates with private sector partners, citizens and even robots to create better outcomes. A seamless interplay of advanced capabilities, ranging from analytics to artificial intelligence to virtual reality, makes it possible. The result? More efficient, impactful and secure public services. That’s the power of Government as a Platform.
Four models for Government as a Platform
According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 survey, most public service executives (82 per cent) globally agree that through technology, businesses are weaving themselves into the fabric of how people live today—and platforms are a strong thread.2 The most effective platforms are designed around specific goals, situational needs and current capabilities—and agencies have options. Here are four platform models with varying communication channels and ecosystems for delivering public services.
- Whole-of-Government Platform: Focused on the role of government as the centralised service provider.
- Peer Platform: A service-centric and vertically integrated platform established by two or more government entities.
- Ecosystem Platform: An open and outcome-focused platform in which government collaborates or offers services jointly with non-governmental actors.
- Crowdsourcing Platform: An innovation-focused approach in which governments collaborate with citizens, companies, other government organisations or NGOs.
Read more about these four platforms
Agencies have two choices as the Government as a Platform approach takes hold; they stand by and watch new players from other sectors take the lead, or they pursue bold steps to ensure future relevance and better services for citizens.
1 Accenture Technology Vision 2018, public services data.