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Championing the new public service technology leader


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 to compete locally and internationally by attracting business and talent to grow their economic and social prosperity. In this unprecedented 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.


Innovation is the most significant driver of competitiveness at local, city, state and national levels and is highly visible on the global playing field. Technology leaders today must demonstrate how new technologies can disrupt existing operating models and thinking. 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.


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.

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.

68% of public service executives believe digital ecosystems are already having a noticeable impact on, or will dramatically transform, the industry.


Perhaps the most complex challenge facing technology leaders today is managing and isolating core technology while enabling a digital future powered by innovation. Many core systems lack the business agility to respond to the changing policy demands from government. Legacy technology deteriorates over time, leading to “technical debt” that hinders organizations from being able to react to change.

Agile with purpose

Technology leaders must tackle technical debt before systems deteriorate even more and starve the business of new IT capabilities. It is cost-prohibitive and high risk to replace legacy systems overnight; therefore, modernization strategies should progressively make the core more agile, and reduce operating and maintenance costs. Organizations also should pursue new digitally enabled experiences that provide intuitive, helpful and personalized services to citizens. Data captured through digital systems can be analyzed to create insight and drive improved outcomes for society and the economy. Inside the organization, new digital approaches can optimize workforce effectiveness using collaboration, artificial intelligence and digital learning technologies.


Accenture helped the Finnish Immigration Service to develop EnterFinland, a new electronic case management system designed to put the user first. The eService aims to enable a user to finish the application in one sitting, without being overwhelmed by information. Using a simple step-by-step structure, the service suggests the next logical step. There are also safeguards to prevent users from accidentally sending an incomplete application.

EnterFinland helps the Finnish Immigration Service to provide a better, more efficient user-oriented service to immigrants and their families. And since the applications are mainly processed by the immigrants themselves, there are significantly shortened time lines and less processing work for the officials.

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Carl Ward

Carl Ward

Managing Director, Technology Consulting, Asia Pacific

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Niamh McKenna

Niamh McKenna

Managing Director, Technology Consulting, Europe

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Chris D’hondt

Chris D’hondt

Managing Director, Technology Consulting, North America

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Jyothi Korem

Jyothi Korem

Managing Director, Offering Development

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