Digitizing Government

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Alan Brown, Jerry Fishenden, Mark Thompson

Text of Digitizing Government

  • Alan W. Brown, Jerry Fishenden, Mark Thompson 2014

    All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of thispublication may be made without written permission.

    No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmittedsave with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 610 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS.

    Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publicationmay be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

    The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

    First published 2014 byPALGRAVE MACMILLAN

    Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS.

    Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martins Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

    Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world.

    Palgrave and Macmillan are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries.

    ISBN 9781137443625

    This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fullymanaged and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

    A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

    Typeset by MPS Limited, Chennai, India.

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  • vList of Figures ixList of Tables xiAcknowledgements xii Figures Acknowledgements xivPreface xv

    Introduction 1Pressure for Change 1The Gap Political Vision versus Operational Reality 4Building Truly Digital Public Services 5The Challenge is not Primarily Technology 6Killing the Myths 7Aim and Structure of the Book 9

    Part 1: Online Services A Road Much Travelled 1 An International Problem 15 Between Aspiration and Implementation Falls the Shadow 18

    2 The UKs Journey, A Lesson for Us All 21 The Wilderness Years: The Failed Allure of New Public

    Management 22 A Serious Misalignment: Implementation of DEG Using

    Stone-Age NPM Tools 27

    3 Decades of Hope 31 Accessibility/Social Inclusion 31 Privacy, Security and Identity 34


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  • vi Contents

    Policy or How Technology will Miraculously Improve Public Services and Cost Us Less 39

    The Magic of e: Electronic Government 40 Modernizing, Information Age Government 42 and Yet more Strategies 44 Transformational Government 47 Putting the Front Line First: Smarter Government and

    Digital Britain 48 Portals, Portals, Portals 51 Open Everything 54 Outcomes and Bene ts 56 Undercurrents of Change: Prelude to the 2010

    General Election 59

    4 2010 and Beyond 62 The Coalition Agreement 62 Viva la Revolucin 63 A Recipe for Rip-off s 63 Government ICT Strategy 2011 65 Digital Services and the Growth of the Government

    Digital Service 66 Current State 68 The Schism between Aspiration and Implementation:

    Turning a Corner? 71

    5 Establishing a New Normal Remaking Public Services for the Digital Age 74

    So What is Digital Anyway? 74 The Four Layers of the Digital Organization 75 User Empowerment through Digital 79 The Speed of Change 80 Management of Continuous Change 81 New Citizens and New Expectations: The Impact of

    Mobile Technology 82 Democratizing Innovation 83 Enablers of Change 84 Summary: Characteristics of Digital Government 86 Towards Reimagined Public Services and the Big Idea 88

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  • viiContents

    Part 2: The Big Idea

    6 Establishing the Cultural Framework 91 Leaning Government 92 Understanding how the Various Moving Parts Work Together 94 Open Architecture 96 Example: Replacing Silos with Component Reuse across

    Government 101 InnovateLeverageCommoditize (ILC) 105 But Who Sets the Standards? Tight-loose in Action 114

    7 Implementing a Mature Platform 116 So What Is, and Isnt, a Platform? 116 So Where does the Technology Come in? 119 How Open Standards Create Innovation and Investment 122 The Platform is a Dynamic, not a Thing 123 Avoiding Evolutionary Dead Ends: Blu-ray and HD DVD 125 Existing Public Services versus the Open, Platform-based

    Architecture 126 Culture Change from Closed to Open: Achieving the

    Open Stack 128 Converging on Open Architecture 132 Spending More, or Less, on Technology? 133 Getting Started Digital Pro ling 134

    8 Future Digital Public Services 139 The Opportunity in Local Services 139 Change-ready Business Model 147 A Better Outcome 148 Digital Pro ling: How to Start a National Conversation 156 Open Architecture and Agile: The Yin and Yang of Digital 157 Build or Consume? 158 Summary Characteristics of Digital Government 160

    Part 3: Service Providers and Digital Delivery

    9 Organizational Structures and Digital Transformation 165

    The Foundations of Digital Transformation 165

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  • viii Contents

    Elastic Principles of Successful Digital Organizations 171 Experimental Approaches to Organizational Agility 172 Some Challenges and How to Overcome Them 179 Summary the Elements of Successful Digital

    Transformation 181

    10 Flexible Architectures for Large-scale Systems 184 Digital Pro ling 185 Approaches to Soft ware Architecture 191 Into the Clouds 199 Impact on Government 205

    11 Agile Processes and Practices 208 Agility in Soft ware Delivery 209 Rethinking Enterprise Soft ware Delivery 210 From Soft ware Development to Soft ware Delivery 211 The Basis for Agile Government 214 Agility at Scale 216 Cornerstones of Success 221 Implications for Government 224

    12 API Economy, Ecosystems and Engagement Models 225

    De ning and Using APIs 229 API Philosophy 231 Designing an API 233 Implementing an API 235 Summary Implementing Digital Government 236

    13 Conclusion and Recommendations 237 Conclusion 237 Summary of Recommendations 246 How, and Where, to Start to Become a Digital

    Organization 249

    References, Sources and Further Reading 253Index 261

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  • 1Introduction

    Pressure for Change

    Governments and public sector organizations across the world are trying to balance essential, and often conflicting, demands: to deliver better, more relevant public services centred on the needs of the citizens and businesses they serve; to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their operations; and to reinvent supply chains to deliver services quickly, cheaply and effectively.

    The UK well illustrates the challenges of this struggle: although the initial years of the government from 1997 to 2010 were associated with public expenditure restraint, sources from the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that public expenditure as a share of GDP rose from around 40% in 2000 to around 50% in the recession year of 2009. In parallel, the global shifts towards emerging markets have been increasing the role and influence of these rapidly emerging economies. Without exception, these economies have much lower public spend-ing as a percentage of their GDP than the more mature economies of the UK, North America and Western Europe. Because these emerging economies are offering goods and services at super competitive prices, and also improving their skills and hence productivity very rapidly, there is a considerable risk of other governments being caught in a trap where it becomes difficult to develop and sustain a higher cost public sector without losing competitiveness. This is an increasing problem in many EU

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  • Introduction2

    economies, where it is simply not possible to afford a high ratio of public spending to gross domestic product (GDP) without doing considerable damage to much-needed growth that, in turn, puts upward pressure on the ratio of public spending to GDP.

    Within the UK (the case example for many of the discussions in this book), global competitiveness is set to decline from just under 5% of world GDP around the turn of the twentieth century to 2.6% by 202