At a time when the global technological race is seeing nearly every sector of industry trying to understand, pivot and capture the benefits that digital technologies can provide, the transformation of businesses as well as the new services they provide is disrupting what was considered to be the traditional measure of productivity.
Now, whether you are a start-up disruptor or a newly established unicorn, you can stampede into a market, crashing through long held commercial models, as well as criss-crossing through sectors. It is no longer about product or service delivery being the centre of a business, it is now about how good your logistical model is or the customer experience that is king. Where does this leave governments and their relationship with citizens, via the services they deliver? Well it is not inaccurate to say that the public sector is lagging behind, and the digital expectation gap between how public services are delivered and the experience provided by the private sector is becoming a chasm.
Government does not need to lead the way but should demonstrate that it can both identify and deliver the innovation that digital transformation can provide and which can lead to increased productivity. It can be said to have tried by establishing Government Digital Services, however, momentum appears to have slowed and in a world that is moving at such pace, an approach that aims to build technology inside government is always going to face a challenge to keep up and be relevant. For government to capture the vast innovation and value that the market now has, it requires greater open collaboration with the organisations that can unlock the potential of digital transformation and keep abreast of the pace of change. This is not a case of simply contracting with a large IT organisation. The world of innovation is vast and varies in size and scale, hence government needs to be open to partnering with organisations that can bring innovation to the fore, but who can also locate and collaborate with others, be they start-ups or SMEs, to bring forward the right innovation from a vast digital marketplace.
By being open to a new partnership paradigm, government - and more importantly, government procurement - has the opportunity to harness greater innovation for the benefit of the citizen, and deliver improved productivity and value for the taxpayer.