Recently I discussed Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency’s decision to junk the idea of a single government website at .GOV.AU. Well a few months later New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state government, has done exactly the same.

In the words of the CIO

New South Wales CIO Damon Rees announced the decision at the Australian Government Cloud Summit in Sydney. He said:

There’s plenty of examples where a whole-of-gov website has been attempted and failed, and wasted an inordinate amount of money.”

This is no surprise to regular readers of G2B’s articles. While there are significant advantages to consolidating the service delivery experience it needs to be firmly based around the customer’s needs.

Why business customer centricity works

For a business owner or manager this works perfectly. Having an effective content strategy is a game changer to achieving this. It needs to join up business customers’ requirements and services. But almost as importantly, it needs to be developed collaboratively at the ground level among a group of supportive government organizations who care about their business customers.

An aggressive  approach to bring all government business services together in a big-bang is never going to work. Building a coalition of supportive champions from the start and having them then advocate to other government decision makers is critical. The internal advantages of cost savings and more satisfied customers is a key means of achieving this. This then allows an iterative approach to be taken to governance, service delivery and further enhancing the customer experience.

Following this strategy is very attainable. That’s because it is customer centric. Blending together citizen and business customers in an online potpourri is never going to work successfully.

Yesterday's paradigm

Afterall as Mr Rees identified, trying to deliver a single government website is following “yesterday’s paradigm.”

He went on to say:

“I think when we do eventually step into ‘how do we make it much easier to get answers to your questions’, the answer is going to be something very different to a whole-of-government website.”

How business customer centricity works

In Australia and its regional backyard this business customer centred approach is being firmly embraced.

Malaysia recently announced a further expansion to its business registration and licensing portal MalaysiaBiz. By growing the licensing and registration processes beyond the Malay peninsula to the country’s Sabah region on the island of Borneo, a more well-rounded offering is delivered. Not only will this provide a better experience for new and existing businesses on Sabah, it will also help Malaysian business operating more broadly across the entire nation.

This is not too dissimilar to the Alpha launch of the much improved Australian Business Licence and Information Service. Again the service is centred entirely around the business customer who is starting up or wanting to check which licenses and registration they need regardless of the three levels of government in Australia (local, state and national) or the government organization responsible.

Using the ABLIS alpha

It’s yet another great example of a win-win. Using an easy intuitive interface business customers can quickly find out what they need to know.  The flip side of this helps government with its objectives.

Regardless of what type of business an owner has or wants to start, there will be necessary government regulation. Whether that’s to protect the health and safety of customers or staff or ensuring the way a business operates reduces its environmental impact.  

By having a simple yet effective business licensing site, government can ensure business owners better understand the regulations they need to comply with and have the licenses they legally are required to have. That ensures business customers are more likely to operate with minimal negative impacts and be compliant. Which if course means avoiding a fine from a government inspector. So everyone’s happy!

That’s yet another great example of why G2B business portals work.

And with New South Wales now joining the growing club of governments turning their back “yesterday’s paradigm” of a single government website, that’s got to be a good result for everyone.