The Journey to Digital Transformation: Nigeria's Readiness


Wednesday, August 09, 2017 7:00AM / Deloitte

What is Digital Transformation?

In 2017, it is no news that with the increasing rise in technologies, going digital is the optimal route to attain success and longevity as a business or organization. Most organizations, businesses, and even government across Africa and the world have started to incorporate digital technologies in their business strategy. As a result, this has changed the face of many business operation, including the way customers interact with the business. Likewise, the public sector in many developed countries.

Digital in the broadest sense is any technology that connects people and machines with each other or with information. For some businesses, it is about the core technology. For others, it is a new way of interacting with customers. And for some, it represents a completely new way of doing business.

New technologies are shaping the way consumers interact with their ecosystems and is inadvertently changing consumers’ expectations of the society, including that of the government, as we move towards a more digital world. Government needs to look beyond the digitization of existing processes and services. They need to harness the power of digital technologies and data to transform their existing business model in order to meet the increasing appetite and expectations of the rising digital consumer by adopting new technologies in the way business is conducted.

Digital transformation is a central and increasingly strategic theme among Public Sectors across the world, with everincreasing citizen’s expectation around delivering greater efficiency, offering better services to the public and exploiting a greater range of modern technologies. To help make this definition more concrete, we’ve broken it down into three attributes: Digital transformation is creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure. 

Governments across the world are adopting digital
Case study 1: The US Treasury Department’s digital efforts provide a model of an effective strategy. The strategy articulates some of the basic tenets of digital transformation: openness by default, consumer feedback, citizen engagement, and a governance structure designed to develop and deliver digital services to citizens. The strategy also emphasizes the need to upgrade and adopt new technologies and instill transparency, both within and outside the department. Importantly, the US Treasury has placed the citizen at the heart of its digital strategy. Besides formalizing feedback processes through online satisfaction surveys, the department regularly publicizes its implementation milestones and open-data initiatives, through traditional and social media.  

Citizen engagement is further enhanced through regular focus groups and competitions such as MyMoneyAppUp inviting citizens to develop next-generation mobile apps that could help Americans shape their financial future.

Case study 2: API adoption in the public sector is accelerating, where the many tools, rules, and interfaces for accessing data are now critical to enabling greater sharing and enhancing services. This push is being spurred along by initiatives such as the US Federal government’s Digital Strategy and Federal Data Services Hub, both of which require sharing data through APIs. Other forces are also at work: citizens’ desire for more data, demands for improved customer service, and budget pressures to deliver more services with less funding. Many states and federal agencies are already publishing a myriad of data sets for the public using APIs – from financial to transportation to community services and more. An evolution from standalone APIs to an integrated ecosystem approach could deliver government services more efficiently. The city of San Francisco has been able to offer new services to citizens that help them navigate the city’s busy streets by providing raw train route and schedule data to citizen developers, who have used the data to create ten different mobile apps. 

Case study 3: By providing access to more than 3,000 government datasets, the government of Singapore has cocreated more than 110 apps with its citizens. Examples include StreetSine, a cobrokering platform for real estate agents, and myENV, a mobile app by NEA EXPAND that provides real-time information on Singapore’s weather. To facilitate co-creation, the government plans to progressively add more datasets and to explore other platforms.

Why Nigeria needs to think digital now
Enabled by the pervasive use of smartphones, tablet, laptops, consumer devices, among the Nigerians, digital technology is receiving increased attention in all areas, as it is moving beyond internet capabilities to a lifestyle. Mobile, social, cloud, analytics, among others are changing the way citizens interact socially and also the way they want to interact with the government. Citizens are more willing to interact with the public sector online but the government also needs to build trust if the citizens are to embrace a digital government and offer online services that work so people can use them. These technologies are the main drivers in the digital transformation in conjunction with cloud, block chain, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and big data innovations. The Nigerian government can build trust by developing a strategy that keeps digital at the core of its execution conversation. 

A new report from Deloitte’s Public Sector Research group, The Journey to Government’s Digital Transformation, examines digital technology’s ability to fundamentally transform the way the public sector operates and deliver services to customers and offers strategies for government leaders to accelerate the rate of their progress. In order to accelerate digital transformation, Deloitte recommends public leaders focus on five major areas:  

Developing a clear digital strategy: The importance of a clear strategy is undeniable. Government organizations can benefit from a roadmap that addresses the key elements of digital transformation: culture, leadership, workforce, and procurement.

User-centricity: A key tenet of digital delivery is to start with the citizen. Exploring inherently user-centric agile development methodologies is very critical.

Culture: As the public sector matures digitally, they learn to increasingly employ digital trends and technologies to reinforce a culture of innovation and collaboration. 

Workforce Skills: Many government agencies lack the skills to take full advantage of digital transformation. Digital strategists need to develop a plan that pinpoints which workforce capabilities are needed and how they are going to attract them. 

Procurement: Procurement reform should focus on agile development, less restrictive terms and conditions, and a more decentralized procurement model.

Where is Nigerian Government on the digital adoption spectrum?
Digital maturity refers to the extent to which digital technologies have transformed an organization’s processes, talent engagement, and citizen service models. The level of maturity determination focuses on three main areas: people, processes, and preparedness.  

Based on our digital maturity estimation framework, organizations are grouped into three categories: “early,” “developing,” and “maturing”. Using our framework analysis, Nigeria is at the early stage of the journey to digital transformation across all three groups. 

What steps can the Nigerian Government take to begin the digital journey?
The first step is to re-orient the thinking and focus on incorporating digital in their core business model. Develop a clear digital strategy that focuses on people and processes while maintaining a citizencentric view. The Nigerian government can then tap into utilizing the various digital technologies to achieve its digital strategy. Some real life examples where this can be adopted is developing a strategy to integrate the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) with Law Enforcement technologies such as mobile, speed detectors, that can be utilized by traffic enforcement to track, monitor, fine and reprimand traffic violators.  

To be successful, the Nigerian government needs to adopt a more flexible approach and be ready to embrace the new digital age. They need to re-imagine their services to the citizens and continually innovate the way they engage. Nigeria should take advantage of all that digital transformation can offer, thrive and become the giant of Africa in leading innovative digital transformative initiatives. 

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This publication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte Network”) is, by means of this publication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this publication.  

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