Study finds digital transformation in government still a work in progress

A survey of 40 Australian federal government decision-makers has found one quarter state their agency did not have an approved digital transformation strategy, while 50% are implementing transformation programmes now.

Micro Focus has revealed the findings from its digital transformation in government study, Accelerating Digital Transformation in Government with the Right Technology Approach, conducted in partnership with Omdia.

The survey aimed to gauge the maturity of and progress on agencies’ digital transformation initiatives and the underlying technology challenges and investment. The survey covered: digital transformation progress and maturity; data and analytics capabilities; use of artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation; implementation of DevSecOps practices; and future technology investment plans.

According to the report, there are significant challenges that impede a government agency’s ability to deliver against the Commonwealth Digital Transformation Strategy.

Key findings include:

  • 88 per cent of respondents stated that IT systems would have to change and 45 per cent stated that new systems or major changes to existing systems would be required to accommodate Data Availability and Transparency legislation.
  • 52 per cent believed it would have a significant impact on their agency’s data governance practices.
  • 38 per cent of respondents stated that their agency had no plans to implement AI.
  • 84 per cent have current or planned implementations for intelligent automation technology, mainly targeted at internal improvements to the back-office process, data usage and data quality.

“These statistics show that many federal government agencies have a lot of work to do on their strategic direction and core data governance and management activities,” the report concludes

“A general trend is evident that aligns maturity to the agency’s size. Smaller agencies with fewer than 1,000 employees struggle to meet the requirements of the highest maturity level. Few can afford to establish an executive position solely dedicated to running the transformation programme, and some are progressing without specifically allocated funding, instead using the strategy to inform individual investment decisions.”

The survey found larger agencies and departments were more likely to have a mature digital transformation programme with executive support and funding. Most respondents were aware of their relative progress and maturity.