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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

end goals.

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Date:Mar 7, 2018
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