Podcast 🎧 & blog: How ready is your country for the next step in digital transformation?
Every digital transformation journey needs a good place to start from. What’s the first step? Understanding where you stand, what are your valuable assets, how to move forward from there, and on what to focus first.
The Digital Readiness Review does just that. For long, e-Governance Academy has been offering this analysis to both governments and businesses – to pinpoint strengths, and weaker spots to work on.
With Marit Lani, Programme Director of Smart Governance, we take a look at how both public and private sector organizations can benefit from it and become more digital.
A renewed, multidisciplinary approach
Some of our readers – and definitely existing clients among them – might be already familiar with eGA’s digital maturity assessments. What we’ve done is a complete makeover of it, which goes beyond the simple rebranding into Digital Readiness Review.
“Over the past months, we’ve been reviewing the methodology for those assessments and realized that the aim is not to rank a country or government, placing it on a scale of maturity. Instead, the goal is to look at the situation as it stands. To provide practical recommendations on how to move forward with solutions in place or digital transformation at large,” Marit Lani says.
Ten core topics make up the Digital Readiness Review, covering all core enablers of digital governance. Among them, figure as it follows: political support and strategy, coordination among agencies, cybersecurity, data management, and digital identity.
“When reviewing the methodology, we involved all our teams here at e-Governance Academy, plus some external experts. The result was that certain topics were reshuffled. For instance, legal framework is no longer a separate topic but has been embedded into different topics to symbolize that it is an integral part of various digitalization processes and enablers,” Lani points out.
Requests are coming from both the public and private sectors
A digital readiness review does not matter only to countries and, consequently, national governments. Institutions and public administrations from smaller administrative divisions can benefit from that too – such as regional councils, municipalities. This, of course, depends on the level of decentralization and policy autonomy of such governments – at times, the last mile of the business process of public service delivery to citizens.
“Recent highlights are, for example, the review process we’re starting in the state of Sarawak, in Malaysia. But requests have come from the private sector too, coherently with a shift in focus that becomes more business specific. For example, we have just completed a review for the Georgian Railway. In that case, throughout the analysis, we may concentrate more on operational processes, strategy and business model, or even culture and personnel management,” Lani says.
Solely in 2021, the eGA team conducted in total 7 reviews for Palestine, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Montenegro, Georgia, Iraq, and Tunisia.
Understand your starting point first, then define goals and timeline
The necessity for a digital readiness review, a crucial moment to take stock of where organizations stand before undertaking development projects, is highlighted by a sweet-and-sour observation.
“Often, countries and donors may approach consultancy organizations like e-Governance Academy with a very specific view on what the goal to be achieved is – for example, putting in place an interoperability framework. And they really have their eyes on the prize, so to say, with a strong will to push through and have a certain service in place within two or three months from the project start,” Lani says.
While all of this is absolutely great and commendable, the hidden risk is to lose sight of the whole picture, what kind of enablers need to be in place to actually be able to provide such service. “This was the starting point for our assessment makeover, and it’s also the starting point with our clients. The Digital Readiness Review might take three to four months to complete, so it’s rather fast too. But it’s an essential step to define the starting point, rather than the goal way too soon. Otherwise, one can set whatever objectives they want to attain – but they might not reach them in the timeframe they gave themselves,” Lani warns.
Digital transformation is a strategic process, and it does not happen overnight. You don’t have to do it all on your own.
From reviewing digital readiness to executing the plans set out, e-Governance Academy is here to help your organization. Take a look at the services offered by the Smart Governance team and get in touch with us!