by George Nott

Up your tech game, Aussies tell all levels of government in survey

Mar 14, 2017

The Australian public wants Commonwealth, state and local governments to up their game in using technology to deliver services to customers.

Nearly all (99 per cent) of the Australians surveyed in an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) study believed they would benefit from government using the latest technology for service delivery. But few agreed that technology was being used very well at Commonwealth (16 per cent), state (14 per cent) and local (12 per cent) level.

The survey of more than a thousand Australians, conducted by Galaxy Research, found that respondents rated Commonwealth and state governments lowest in their ability to use technology to deliver services to their customers, compared to other industries.

Respondents rated government below almost every other industry for service delivery with technology included: banks and financial institutions (which 64 per cent of those surveyed agreed used technology well); online shopping sites (61 per cent); travel information and booking sites (48 per cent); telecommunications providers (39 per cent); entertainment sites (39 per cent); gas and electricity utilities (28 per cent); and health services (25 per cent).

“Australian consumers have always been credited as early adopters of new technology, which is consistent with our collective desire to see government using the latest technology,” said AIIA chief executive officer, Rob Fitzpatrick.

“Many expect to have the same experience engaging with government bodies as they would with their bank or an online shopping site. As technology advances, customer expectations keep changing, and it’s important that government keep pace,” he added.

No regress

The main benefits of government using latest technology to deliver services were reported as: to improve the quality and accuracy of the services it delivers (72 per cent), to personalise services to improve the convenience of dealing with government (55 per cent), to make it easier to prove identity to government online (51 per cent), and to do business with government online using any device at any time (51 per cent).

“What this result says to me is that even though there have been some misfires recently when it comes to execution, such as the Census outages and the Centrelink errors, Australians want the government to progress and improve its use of technology rather than regress back to the ‘old’ way of doing things,” Fitzpatrick said.

An average of almost two thirds of Australians (64 per cent) believe that best approach to government service delivery would come through a combination of automated channels and customer facing service personnel, with some slight variations depending on the demographic.