Public Services Online: ‘Digital by Default or by Detour?’

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This “Insight Report” presents the findings of the 2012 eGovernment survey, discusses the implications, and makes some outline recommendations.

The report is titled, and poses the question of, “Digital by Default; or by Detour?” This could be read to pre-suppose that digital is ‘the’ answer; or that detour is ‘bad’. Neither is necessarily so. It is not meant to be judgemental.

The reality, and quite likely the recognition of most now, is that digital is happening; and in a way that will have profound impact – positive impact, if embraced in a quality manner. The astonishing adoption and impact of social media; the ever-intriguing and almost daily innovations we see in new devices; the unseen yet extraordinary number of sensors that are embedded in what we buy and own; the vast canvas of opportunity that big data offers us; the new provisioning models that cloud technology opens up; are all testament to the profoundly impactful role that information and technology play.

What route to follow to make advances, indeed perhaps to ‘leapfrog’ improvements, and retain national and European prominence? Europe comprises a diverse set of countries. Each with a multiplicity of public services. Progressively, the need for services to operate across borders rises in prominence. The people they serve are mixed and varied. There can therefore be no single route to follow; neither can we deny the potential to learn from others!

This comparative exercise seeks to inform and support individual nations and Europe at large as to how we can employ technologies to advance society, and our economy.

Download the full report.