Date:
7 September 2022
Author:
Phillipa Martin

The Connected Government Report

Salesforce’s Connected Government Report: The Future of Digital Service brings together research data from over 35,000 people from around the world. The respondents were surveyed in five batches from April 2021 to June 2022. 

The research questions focused on four general areas: 

  1. Government’s digital progress during the pandemic
  2. Customer satisfaction and trust in government
  3. How people want to engage with government
  4. The role of emerging tech 

The report presents the results and highlights themes from the research findings, with five main sections:

  • The importance of trust in the public sector
  • How global crises increase digital demand
  • Transformation through tech
  • The importance of investing in employee experience
  • Emerging tech and the future of the public sector  

The importance of trust in the public sector 

Trust is a very important factor in government services. However,

46% of people surveyed had low trust levels in their governments (they ranked their trust as 'little or not at all’).

The best ways to improve trust were also identified by respondents: 

  • Transparency (53%)
  • Easy to engage (44%)
  • Accessibility (44%)
  • Speed (40%)
  • Flexibility (36%)
  • Personalisation (20%)

Note: These figures are at a national government level for each country (the report also asked about local government) and the percentages represent the number of people who felt that the characteristic was important to build trust. 

Importantly, good customer experience significantly improves trust. In fact,

87% of the participants felt “great digital government customer experience would increase their degree of trust.”

Secure digital experiences were also essential for building trust. The report includes a small, dedicated section on security. 

How global crises increase digital demand

COVID-19 changed the way citizens interact with government. The Connected Government research found that:

74% of people “say the pandemic changed the way their government delivers services.” 

Now, people’s interactions are often digital-first. In fact, 54% of the respondents found it easier to access government services online than in person. 

Many website owners, including our government clients, saw massive spikes in web traffic during COVID-19. Even now, many government websites are experiencing traffic that’s roughly double what it was pre-COVID.

This preference for digital is set to continue, which highlights the need for governments to continually focus on digital delivery. 

Transformation through tech

When it comes to digital delivery, governments are still seen as lagging behind many other industries.

“Only 18% of people surveyed believe the customer experience is prioritised in their engagements with government.”

In addition, government was ranked 17th compared to other industries in how it uses technology to improve customer experiences.

The importance of investing in employee experience

The report calls for governments to focus on both the customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX). Government employees play an important role in providing great customer experiences, so the employee experience also needs to be maximised. The survey found that:

47% of the respondents felt public sector employees don’t have the tools to serve citizens. 

Emerging tech and the future of the public sector

Governments around the world have been looking at emerging technologies for a number of years now. For example, here in Australia, emerging tech is a key part of our Digital Economy Strategy 2030 and many other government departments are either using emerging tech or actively researching it. Emerging tech covers areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, drones, Internet of Things (IoT) (devices connected to the internet or with smart sensors), and quantum computing. 

However, while some people are keen to see governments using emerging tech, others are uncomfortable because it raises issues around trust. For example,

24% of respondents were ‘nervous’ about government using AI and 15% were ‘frightened’. 

This brings us back to the first finding in the report — the importance of building trust. Citizens need to feel a high level of trust in governments' digital services. 

Salsa Digital’s take

We’re always on the lookout for ways technology can transform government services and citizen experiences. Salesforce’s Connected Government Report: The Future of Digital Service provides an excellent insight into what citizens around the world are thinking about their governments, particularly in the context of a global pandemic.

Digital innovation is an area we’re committed to, whether it’s through providing consolidated, whole-of-government digital platforms like GovCMS and Single Digital Presence or investing in emerging fields like rules as code and static web hosting with a content delivery network (CDN).