Australian Government agencies underutilising digital process solutions: Adobe

| July 5, 2022

Australian Government agencies are still at the beginning stages of their digital transformation, according a study from Adobe.

The commissioned study ‘Digital Trust in Australia: Reduce Security Risks and Deliver Superior Citizen Experiences with Digital Document Processes’ conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe revealed that while the disruptions from the pandemic forced local agencies to accelerate their digital initiatives, most of them still used a hybrid approach of paper-based and digital documents.

Only 14% of respondents said their agency had entirely digitised its document processes as most continue to use a variety of workflows.

Digitisation in public service delivery has become critical to enhancing the citizen experience and delivering practical and secure processes. The pandemic brought the need for collaboration to the forefront, especially for government agencies who need to find ways to work together and serve the citizens diligently.

Respondents feel Australian Government agencies are underutilising digital document process solutions, and that this is impeding the citizen and employee experience alike. 68% of respondents mentioned that lack of technology and tools impacted employee productivity, and 58% said their agency had difficulty maintaining security and confidentiality, with the right people having access to specific documentation.

While government agencies have relied more heavily on paper-based processes than other verticals, they have undergone a mindset shift in the last 18 months regarding the digitisation of workflows. As a result, barriers to adopting digital document process technologies, such as e-signatures, are fading away. Before the pandemic, 56% of respondents said they were concerned about the complexity of integrating signatures with day-to-day productivity applications, but this has fallen to 18%.

“One of the biggest challenges government agencies faces is the challenge of expanding digital services while preserving citizen trust,” said Chandra Sinnathamby, Adobe Director of Digital Media B2B Strategy & GTM, Asia Pacific. “This calls for the adoption of solutions that easily digitise workflow processes while ensuring cyber resiliency. Digital adoption can meet the need for mobility, scalability, and auditability in government agencies. Hence, it is crucial for government agencies to develop a humanised approach to digital transformation.”

Australian Government agencies are increasing their investment in the digitisation of documentation, with top priorities over the next 12 months including:

·       Improving the use of data for decision-making (70%)

·       To accelerate the response to market change (64%)

·       Shift to being a digital government for IT modernisation (62%)

·       Improving overall risk management, including data security and privacy (62%)

Based on the survey the study finds, “These increased investments will accelerate the shift to e-services and help agencies catch up with digital-leader agencies in other countries.”

Among its further recommendations: “Your agency must look at digital document process solutions as general-purpose technologies on the way to a bigger transformation agenda. Doing so will help it achieve some key objectives, such as improving data-driven policy making, enabling self-sovereign identities (SSI), and strengthening security and compliance.”

The key steps to deploying a digital approach are phased as government agencies are moving to modernise legacy technologies and adopt a cloud-based approach.

“To continue to create trust among parties and to support compliance, it is important government agencies are collaborating with partners that offer identity authentication and signature services. This is the best way to future-proof an agency with more interactive documents infused with structured data for the long run,” said Sinnathamby.

Adobe commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an online study with 150 senior business and technology decision-makers based in Australia, Singapore, and India with responsibilities for digital document processing at their organisation or government agency.

You can view the full Adobe – Digital Trust in Australia report here.