DX needs to show measurable value.
With the increasing maturity of smart
government, there are now a growing number of voices that are pushing for
digital transformation initiatives that can go beyond simply being the first or
the biggest, and deliver tangible benefits to the bottom line.
In February alone, Smart Dubai unveiled its new Dubai Data
Policies, which are distinctly focused on how the value can be extracted from
city data, while Visa released a study that attempted to quantify the economic
benefits of cashless cities. In the next issue of .GOV, we also feature smart city consultancy NXN, which is
promoting the idea that successful digital transformation projects need to be
built on a solid understanding of the benefits that a project will bring across
specific deliverables at the outset.
There are some entities that still seem to be fixated on
big-bang projects, with a bit too much emphasis on hype, but the perception is
shifting that projects must bring value, and you must be able to measure that
It is not always easy to put a 'price tag' on digital
transformation efforts, particularly in areas such as 'happiness'. But metrics are available even for
understanding public sentiment or customer satisfaction, along with ways to
predict economic benefit, and these measures should be built into projects as
There is also a need for more studies and more sampling to
understand that 'state of the market' at the outset, so that the baseline can
be defined. More understanding of the end user's needs or pain points is also
required. All of these things should be a matter of good project management and
planning, to impose structure and targets.
It is increasingly clear that government organisations need
to have a good idea of the results that a specific project can deliver, to
bring focus to a project and to create a yardstick against which to measure
success. Budgets and spending are still under pressure, so being able to plot
the value of a proposed project is a huge benefit, both to getting it green
lit, and to helping understand the end objective.
There is still place for innovation, and the UAE Innovation
Month showed just how broad and deep the culture of ideas has become in
government circles, but we should not lose sight of measurable and meaningful
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