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Digital transformation across the public sector has stalled. After over 25 years of considerable time, money, and effort at national, state, and local levels, we’re still not ‘there’ yet.
The reason is that successive waves of investment in digital transformation have focused largely on improving the transactional functions and activities of government. They have failed to embrace a bigger challenge – the need for governing and government to rethink a new ‘theory of the business’ – which that same revolution has caused and to which it is an inescapable part of the answer.
This is a unique, timely, and distinctly Australian look at a global phenomenon by two ‘reflective practitioners’. Their personal and practical experience of digital transformation in government and the public sector in Australia suggests it is a story missing half its plot.
Packed full of insights from government and digital leaders from around Australia and across the world, this is a much-needed practical guide for public servants and leaders in any jurisdiction. It contains insights and ideas about the way digital technologies, and their associated tools, platforms, and cultures, are changing the business of governing and the design and delivery of public policy and services.
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The digital transformation project for government and the public service is going more slowly than it should, and failing to deliver its full transformational dividend, because it’s not being thought about in the right way.
A NEW THEORY OF BUSINESS
Uses Peter Drucker’s framework from a 1994 HBR article to argue that digital transformation should be seen as part of a larger endeavour to evolve a new “theory of the business” for government and the public sector.
2. A Changing world
Explores 13 major social, economic, political and technology trends that set the context and conditions to which digital transformation is contributing and, for government, to which it should be a significant part of the response.
3. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: Current and future tools & METHODS
Provides a “ready reckoner” overview and brief explanation of some of the main current and emerging digital tools, technologies and platforms with which contemporary public servants, and others involved in public work, should increasingly be familiar and comfortable as vital tools of their trade.
4. CHANGING THE WORK OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND CHANGING THE WAY THE PUBLIC SECTOR WORKS
Explains what these trends, conditions and technologies mean for the changing work of the public sector and changing the way the public sector works, including a review of digital transformation units and strategies both nationally and a state level in Australia and in some other jurisdictions around the world.
CoNCLUSION: OUR MANIFESTO
What we believe and a call to action for a new “national mission” for the digital transformation of government and the public sector in Australia at scale and speed.