For Beale, we must evolve to harness the full potential of a digitally connected population and environment, and also to meet the demands and challenges of modern society.
Check out the full interview of Andy Beale about the 3rd Week of Innovation and about digital transformations.
Sector Dialogues: Regarding your point of view, what is the importance of holding a seminar such as the 3rd Innovation Week? how important is the exchange of experiences, etc.?
Beale: I think events like Innovation Week are vital in allowing teams in government to collaborate not just with peers in other countries but with external communities too. Change is hard and requires a lot of energy - the support networks that these events foster are probably even more important than the specific knowledge exchange.
Sector Dialogues: How important is digital transformation to nations?
Beale: “Software is eating the world” so the famous phrase goes. And government is not immune to this. Transforming to fully harness the potential of a digitally connected population and environment is critical to meet the demands and challenges of modern society.
Sector Dialogues: What are your expectations for the future in relation to digital transformation? What technological advances will we have within the next 5 years? Where can we go / Where are we going?
Beale: Google already talks of designing for “AI first” rather than mobile and I think this kind of ambient computing will become normal very quickly as it appears on devices that people already have. This will drive ever greater expectations from citizens for their public services to keep up. In parallel we’ll see these changes having an impact on jobs through greater automation. In terms of where we are going, my hope is for a technology enabled society, where people feel empowered by technology change rather than under threat. And that our governments have adapted to enable this to happen effectively and ethically.
Sector Dialogues: What challenges does Brazil face? Has Europe has already faced them? Or do they both have to face the same challenges?
Beale: I think at a macro level the challenges are similar in terms of demands of citizens and the need for safe and prosperous states. However nowhere in Western Europe faces the same geographic challenges that come with a country the size of Brazil.
I see digital progress in the UK and other European states as a good “alpha” project to learn from. Somethings worked and some didn’t. Brazil has a great opportunity to learn from this and jump ahead towards a government of the internet era. One challenge we have maybe faced more intensively in last 5 years is that of serious cyber threat. And this is the area we have perhaps most to share expertise and experience around.
Sector Dialogues: Do you have any recommendations, according to the experience in Europe?
Beale: My main recommendation would be to look at where internet enabled business change has happened most rapidly and try and replicate the conditions that made it possible. Rather than follow specific strategies. Equally understand what has held back adoption within government and seek to create a safe space for public servants to reimagine government and experiment with new models.
Secondly I recommend avoiding some of the pitfalls of creating digital transformation as a separate movement within government. Instead seek to bring together progressive policy makers, service delivery leaders, designers and technologists to tackle public service reinvention together.
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