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Me Myself and I (Identity)

The power of digital technologies to enable public service.


Is unnecessary waste happening on your watch? Understanding where and why waste occurs in your business is the first step toward preventing and eliminating it.

Indirect and related spend is big money, accounting for 15–30 percent of revenues for most companies, spanning everything from marketing services to logistics, to IT to travel and capital equipment.

Despite the large numbers, most firms do not manage their indirect spend professionally. In fact, our benchmark data shows that the average firm professionally manages less than 50 percent of spend, falling far short of best-in-class organizations that manage addressable spend at 90 percent or more.

This paper explores five areas where large amounts of waste often occur and their causes. Understanding the waste problem can enable companies to take steps to reclaim the margin point or more of bottom-line value that is wasting away.


According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2014, the time is ripe for business leaders to establish their place in the digital world by redefining their relationships with their customers, partners and the Internet community at large. Are public services agencies ready to tap into powerful digital technologies to solve the growing identity crisis? When it comes to matters of national and personal security, failing to establish a “unique identity” leaves the door wide open to serious fraud and identity theft.

Prioritizing safety and security is never more important than at the borders. For more than a decade, United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT), one of the world’s largest biometrics-based programs, has provided identity services to help border control officers and their systems verify the identity of incoming and departing visitors and confirm compliance with visa and immigration policies. Every day US-VISIT identifies 5,000 illegal visitors, 2,500 immigration violations and 50 wanted criminals.


Identity is not merely related to “catching the bad guys.” Sharing data—that is, de-duplicating identities to make sure that you are who you say you are, either using biometrics, biographics or background information—could open up new efficiencies and offer powerful benefits for citizens and governments. For instance, in healthcare, traditionally, a primarily paper-based system and the lack of seamless, integrated systems for cross-checking data across the various public service agencies presents barriers to serving patients’ needs. However, an online government portal can mean an individual who is seeking health benefits can enter his or her credentials into an automated system and access immediate help across a range of public services. Many policy makers, corporate leaders and development experts are realizing that by collaborating they can not only help border and immigration agencies to perform more effectively, but also serve the public good.

Launched five years ago, the Unique Identification Authority of India’s Aadhaar program is introducing wide scale unique identification for the nation’s 1.2 billion residents to improve key government and private schemes. Verified identification means the authorities can distribute food to deserving people, provide employment and make secure banking and insurance available to all.


Securing eligibility opens up new channels for public service agencies and enriches the lives of citizens by enabling the equitable distribution of benefits and mitigating fraud. Managing risk and eligibility in real time is already proving its worth. Ranked as Europe’s fourth largest airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol processes nearly 50 million passengers a year. More than 35 e-gates have helped Schiphol not only free up border agency resources to focus on higher risk or unknown travelers, but also enabled them to oversee the status of the travel process, monitoring transaction times, alerts and time spent on the clearance process in real time. Within the first six weeks of use, more than 210,000 passengers used the e-gates—with a “one-step” process meaning travelers are being processed through the e-gates in less than 15 seconds.

Using digital technologies—a hybrid of public, private, structured and unstructured data, biometrics and biographics—an identity can be determined with a high degree of certainty. Agencies gain a powerful advantage in more accurately identifying who you are, what you need and whether you are entitled to it and, in turn, take a further step on their journey to deliver public service for the future.