U.S. Government Agencies Report Progress in Move to Digital Government, but Concerns about Security and Other Challenges Remain, Unisys Survey Shows
Survey shows nearly one-third of respondents reporting skepticism about the value of digital government
RESTON, Va., September 15, 2016 – A new survey sponsored by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) found that 69 percent of U.S. federal, state and local government respondents have initiated or are interested in adopting digital government programs, while the remaining 31 percent reported skepticism of digital government's benefits outside of narrowly-defined problem areas.
With regard to the challenges that face government agencies that pursue digital government initiatives, 57 percent of respondents said their agencies were "very concerned" about potential security risks – with another 35 percent "somewhat concerned." Lack of staff expertise was also viewed as a challenge by most respondents, with 47 percent "very concerned" and 41 percent "somewhat concerned."
Respondents reported that the most important benefits of digital government were to improve internal business processes and service delivery, with 66 percent and 65 percent, respectively reporting these benefits as "very important."
Fewer respondents appeared to be focused on pulling citizens into digital government initiatives, with only 45 percent ranking citizen participation as "very important."
The survey defined digital government as the process by which government agencies harness various digital technologies – including cloud, virtualization, advanced data analytics, and mobile – to deliver superior services to citizens, stakeholders and other government employees.
The results showed a government divided almost in half in terms of respondents whose agencies see a clear value in digital government, and those who do not. Slightly more than half of respondents (55 percent) agreed with the statement that their agency wants to offer more innovative digital government service, while 45 percent were neutral or disagreed.
"While it is encouraging to see more federal, state and local governments using digital government tools to simplify government, we still have work to do in terms of educating many government leaders about the benefits of these initiatives," said Mark Forman, global head of public sector at Unisys. "Government agencies must meet citizens' expectations of customer service based on what they see in commercial companies, and they should not hesitate to reap the benefits digital government can offer in terms of cost savings, enhanced security and a more efficient workforce."
This survey shows that agencies that are further along the path to digital government are more likely to have superior capabilities in areas such as security, cloud, mobility and IT service management than those agencies from which respondents expressed skepticism about digital government.
"Beyond the direct benefits offered by digital government, there are multiple indirect benefits to government agencies in terms of more mature capabilities and forward-looking workplace cultures," said Casey Coleman, group vice president for civilian agencies at Unisys Federal. "For these reasons, we believe more agencies will take the appropriate security measures and embrace digital government in the future."
For more information on the digital government survey or to download the report, visit www.unisys.com/digital-government.
Unisys is a global information technology company that works with many of the world's largest companies and government organizations to solve their most pressing IT and business challenges. Unisys specializes in providing integrated, leading-edge solutions to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. With more than 20,000 employees serving clients around the world, Unisys offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, security solutions, and high-end server technology. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
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Kent Sholars, Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Unisys, 214-613-0025