Australians Increasingly Prefer to Engage with Government Online and via Mobile Apps - Unisys Connected Government Study
Transparency key to public support for data sharing among government agencies
SYDNEY and BLUE BELL, Pa., March 29, 2018 – New research from Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) exploring how Australian citizens prefer to engage with government reveals almost half prefer online channels rather than phone and in-person interactions. The study also found high support for a single mobile app to access multiple government services, and that the majority of Aussies assume government agencies already share data with one another.
The Unisys Connected Government Survey provides insights into the attitudes of consumers toward digital government services. The study, conducted by Omnipoll, surveyed 1,329 adults in Australia and also was conducted in Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore.
The survey found that Aussies increasingly want to engage with government online, with nearly half of Australians surveyed (49 percent) preferring to access services via their PC, tablet or phone. This is a significant increase from 29 percent in 2016. Of the five countries surveyed, Australia sits in the middle in the preference to move to online channels, with New Zealand and Singapore registering the highest levels of support and Malaysia and the Philippines the lowest.
The survey reveals that the preferred way to engage with government varies depending on the type of transaction. Australians prefer to go online to complete their tax returns and find information about public services. But they want in-person interactions to obtain or renew a driver's license, passport or building permit. Online and in-person channels are preferred to apply for benefit payments, whereas phone calls and online are preferred to report incidents and issues to local council for action.
Lysandra Schmutter, vice president, Public Sector, Unisys Asia Pacific explained that understanding the customer journey is vital for successful digital transformation in government, saying, "This insight is important for key digital government initiatives such as where the New South Wales government has set a target to have 70 percent of transactions completed digitally by 2019. The Connected Government research reveals that citizens indeed want to engage with government in different ways depending on the objective of the interaction – and these needs must be taken into account when designing digital strategies for government agencies."
Mobile Readiness, Data Sharing Assumptions
Sixty-three percent of Australians want a single mobile app that gives access to multiple government agencies, whereas only 41 percent say they would download individual apps for each department. Almost half, 47 percent, want to access government websites via their phones. Of the five countries surveyed, New Zealanders and Australians have the lowest support for using social media to engage with government (13 and 17 percent, respectively).
The research found that the vast majority of Australians (80 percent) believe government agencies already share citizen demographic data. Despite this expectation that government agencies already share data, citizen support depends on the purpose and perceived benefit. Support is strongest when data sharing enables law enforcement agencies to identify crime and terrorism (48 percent of Australians support).
Advancements in Public Sector Technology
Unisys has recently launched several new, software-led solutions designed to help citizens engage with government agencies. They include FamilyNow™, a case management software solution that helps government social services agencies protect children at risk; ENFORCE™, a child support solution that provides modern tools and technologies to effectively manage cases and achieve key performance measures; and Digital Government Accelerators, a family of IT services and software designed to help state and local government agencies speed up their transition toward providing digital services.
Download the full Unisys Connected Government Report and infographic here.
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