Lead in the New
Technology disruption is at the heart of the business changes impacting our world. Governments at every level are
being challenged to keep pace and use disruption by attracting business and talent to grow their economic and social
prosperity. In this unique era of change, the role of technology leaders (chief information officers, chief innovation
officers, chief digital officers or chief ecosystem officers) is changing—it will support a more agile business, enable the
ecosystem, improve customer service and drive operational efficiency.
Innovate or fade
Innovation is the most significant driver of economic growth at local, city, state and national levels and is highly visible
on the global playing field. We are witnessing a struggle for working taxpayers given aging populations, increased
citizen expectations, and significant cost and sustainability pressures. The most successful organizations, cities, states
and countries will be those that embrace innovation and address the effects geo-socio-political dynamics have on
society, their organizations and their business ecosystem. We are clearly at risk of innovation overtaking our ability to
govern, yet slowing down innovation will challenge sustainability and restrict growth. Technology leaders within the organization have the mandate to demonstrate how new technologies can disrupt existing operating models and thinking.
In the Digital Government Review of Norway, published by OECD, both Norway and the other Nordic countries, score on the top of Digital Economy and Society Index (Desi) ranking. This shows that there is significant room for opportunities to use technology to power innovation that allows government to successfully protect our safety and welfare, while providing an environment to grow and sustain our cities and nations. But how? Creating an innovation agenda means rethinking the structure and approach to innovation—it is not the accountability of one person or group, but a process of discovering insight and co-creating future ideas by solving fundamental challenges in creative ways. The best ideas will emerge from a group of passionate, diverse people from all areas who have an entrepreneurial mindset about public service. Technology leaders can convene creative thinkers and digital champions to push the innovation agenda forward.
Government as a platform
Technology-enabled business models are disrupting business as we know it, and they have the similar potential to reshape government services. In fact, 68 percent of public service executives believe digital ecosystems are already having a noticeable impact on, or will dramatically transform, the industry. By adopting an ecosystem partnership approach, governments can cost effectively bring in the innovation through leveraging cutting-edge talent and technologies, while retaining sovereignty. Technology leaders play a fundamental role in supporting this evolution by engaging the ecosystem. Leading change calls for a shift in philosophy—rather than just thinking about the organization, those responsible for technology must think about the entire ecosystem of organizations participating in the value chain.
As technology leaders rethink service delivery in the new ecosystem, they must look at how technology can allow greater connectivity and integration. All areas of the IT organization should be viewed through the ecosystem lens: How will the enterprise architecture enable collaboration? How can the current services expand beyond the boundaries of the government to include business and new digital service providers to enhance the service level and coverage? Such ecosystem thinking in government requires a multi-faceted platform to support it. Government platforms (such as education or welfare) involve multiple stakeholders and a more complex model of engagement. Technology leaders can navigate these challenges by bringing to bear design thinking, agile delivery and analytic insight to help reshape government service.