By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
Governments are investing in digital and deploying interactive, analytic and mobile capabilities to better engage people. But do priorities align with citizen expectations? What’s more important to the average person: cutting costs or being on the cutting edge? Kathy Conrad, Director of Digital Government at Accenture Federal Services, helped us understand the findings from a recent #AFSFedPulse survey.
What is the biggest priority for people when it comes to digitizing government services?
An overwhelming 80 percent of people believe that data security is one of the three most important considerations for government when developing new online services and mobile apps, with over a third (35 percent) ranking it top. The dominance of data security in the results reflects an increasing awareness of cybersecurity from the general public and concern about the threat posed by data breaches, particularly in the public sector. In the wake of a number of recent high-profile cyberattacks – including the hacks of more than 21 million current, former, and prospective Federal employees’ records from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – this concern is understandable.
What are some of the other areas that ranked high?
Privacy is an important consideration for people when it comes to the development of new government online or mobile services. It ranks second behind data security across all ages and
genders, with 61 percent of respondents listing it as one of their three top priorities. Convenience is also a top pick overall, with over half factoring it into their top three (53 percent) and one in six people (16 percent) placing it above all other priorities.
- Are there divides as to how men and women responded?
The results highlight some interesting differences between men and women, particularly when it comes to privacy. 70 percent of women cite privacy as one of the top-three priorities for government when developing new online services and mobile apps, compared to only 53 percent of men. Conversely, one third (32 percent) of men want government to prioritize cutting-edge technology, versus only one fifth (20 percent) of women.
Are there generational differences?
While there are minimal generational differences when it comes to priorities for government tech (data security, privacy and convenience), there is a notable divergence with regard to personalization, which scores fairly high with millennials but not with others. In total, 18 percent of millennials see personalization as a top three priority, versus only 7 percent of older generations.
What are the other big takeaways from the report?
Given the level of focus placed on cost in the media, only one in 10 people (11 percent) put cost at the top of their list, with less than half (42 percent) placing it in the top three. That being said, federal employees seem to be more concerned with the cost of government’s investments in digital than the general population, with one fifth (19 percent) citing it as their highest priority, versus only one in 10 (10 percent) of non-fed workers.