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MARTIN STEWART-WEEKS & Simon COOPER

Are we there yet? The digital transformation of government and the public service in Australia

BUY

TO BE PUBLISHED IN LATE JUNE 2019

Why does Australia want to become one of the top three most digitally transformed country in the world?   And why, after over 25 years of considerable time, money and effort at national, state and local level, isn’t it there already?

The reason, authors Simon Cooper and Martin Stewart-Weeks contend, is that investment in digital transformation has been largely about improving the transactional functions and activities of government without adopting a new theory of the business for government. And in turn has failed to connect it to a larger story about a changing world, the changing role and purpose of government and changes in the work. To get ‘there’, they conclude with a manifesto for digital transformation in Australia.

This book takes a unique, timely and distinctly Australian look at a global phenomenon – how digital technologies, and their associated tools, platforms and cultures, are changing the way we do government and provide public services. Packed full of insights from government and digital leaders as well as drawing on their extensive experience as practicing practitioners, this is a must read practical guide for public servants and leaders in any jurisdiction.

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Book overview


INTRODUCTION

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.

  1. 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 WORLD 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.