Whether you're just starting to sell the idea of transforming your government to business digital service delivery, or you're putting together a 100+ page business case, you need to cover off benefits.

And while there are many major benefits, this episode I'm going to concentrate on the three big ones:

  1. Economic development and job creation
  2. Internal savings and team culture
  3. The political dimension

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What are the 3 BIG benefits from government to business digital service delivery?


Gavin: G'day folks and welcome to another episode of Government to Business.

My name is Gavin Atkinson and today I'm going to talk a little bit around the concept of how do you sell the benefits of government to business service delivery?

When you're putting together either the very early messaging around, you know, why this is a great idea or alternately you're in the process of developing a full-blown business case.

Obviously the need to tackle benefits and explain all that is essential at that point of time as well.

There's obviously more information that goes into a business case beyond benefits, but that's another podcast for another day. Essentially there's three really big ticket items when it comes to the benefits of government to business service delivery.

BIG benefit 1: Economic development and job creation

The number one reason of course is how the private sector drives jobs.

Basically what it comes down to it is that private businesses are the creation, the job creation powerhouse of the economy and if you can make it easier for businesses to start and then to grow they're far more likely to be coming out and then employing others. And when businesses are growing and they're employing what does that mean to communities in your local jurisdiction? If your answer is their stronger, those communities are more resilient and they're much better places to live or something similar to that effect, make sure you kind of give yourself a big tick because you're going straight to the top of the class. That's exactly why economic development is essential. It's the fundamental reason why governments should be prioritizing their digital service delivery to business.

That's because if you're creating an environment where businesses are growing, those businesses are then more likely to be employing.

Those people who are employed and obviously the business owners themselves have greater disposable income that they're able to then spend locally and that in itself starts creating stronger more vibrant communities. Which again creates further job creation within those communities. It's a it's a virtuous cycle, it's a positive feedback loop, which is the type of thing that policymakers and program delivery areas of government, you know, salivate over. They just wish they could get something like this. So if you're doing government to business service delivery, right?

Basically, you'lll achieve all this and that's that's what you want to be able to achieve.

So in putting economic development at the forefront what must you do? Basically this is part of that positioning, part of that sell for why investment needs to be made in this space.

The first thing you need to understand of course is who your customers are and there's many methods to do this. Obviously there's market research, there's persona development, there's lots and lots of good stuff there.

What are the current journeys that they are experiencing when they're dealing with government and when they're looking at starting a business? And then from that, what is that at current experience like? What are the pain points that they're having within that current experience?

And how can you better meet their needs and address their problems?

Or at a minimum at least make things a little bit less confusing and less frustrating. How can you make it simpler?

How can you make it easier? How can you save them time?

That's one of the key things and that's one thing you absolutely must need to pick up if you're putting together that messaging around why this is a good thing.

It's all around growing local economies.

It's all around of growing local communities and all around creating sustainable vibrant communities.

BIG benefit 2: internal savings and team culture

What else do you need to be doing? Second reason I'd be looking at is actually the internal impact within government.

Now this is the type of thing that your Treasury or Finance department is likely to get far more excited over rather than customers.

Although maybe they are if they're actually bit more forward-thinking. The thing here I suppose being upfront, sure, there's an initial investment that's needed or at least an internal reallocation of resources to be able to deliver against this.

But the ROI is a very good one. It's a positive one. It's a great one, when you're doing it right. Service delivery channels costs go down and Government as a result could start making some savings.

It doesn't need to be spending all this extra money that is basically tied up previously in offline service delivery. Channel migration achieves that ability to free up resources elsewhere and then be able to reallocate those resources. And that depends a lot on your own local industrial relations and employment conditions within your jurisdiction.

It may allow you to be able to let people go.

It may be though that for one reason or another or due to political considerations you're not in that boat, you have to kind of retain those staff.

But at least you can then reallocate those staff to far more productive areas and be able to deliver greater things internally within government as well. Of course to do things right you can of course give it a go all by yourself.

Keep listening to these podcasts, keep reading about what others are doing around the world and listening to their experiences and then applying that yourself to your own local environment. From my personal perspective I've been involved in this space and helping a number of governments now around the world, being able to achieve these benefits.

The benefits basically can also go beyond the financial that you're able to achieve within government.

So whilst you can for example, closing down counters or something like that and you can kind of get out of leases and other arrangements and the computer costs associated with those things. That's going to give you a financial saving but there's other great benefits internally within government beyond just the financials. So let's start with a more skilled workforce and teams.

By making these changes and making sure that you're doing them well, you're creating an environment that truly boosts the career development opportunities for your staff.

They're also far more likely to decide to stay with you, to retain their services within your organization rather than move on, and to move on quickly and here's why.

The type of transformational changes that you need to be able to do, to be able to deliver against a actual, as a world-class experience for government to business service delivery, if you want to be able to do that you really do need to start creating a more collaborative environment.

It's actually kind of very much like a startup type of feel within government. Having that culture within government is very different for many people and very exciting for many people.

It's all about pushing their skills and seeing the impact that they're making which is very often actually why people have chosen a career of public service.

They actually want to make a difference and doing so in such a way you can see the changes that you're making you can then see the benefits that you're delivering to end customers and that in itself is a real reward. To being able to see that,
yes, what you want to do and what you want to achieve, you are achieving. When you start also making these transformational changes those staff won't really want to leave. In this type of culture I've seen year after year, and I absolutely kid you not, delivery teams of 50 plus people losing maybe only one person a year in natural attrition.

If you can beat that let me know on Twitter as I'd love to know what special sauce you're using.

Tag me @gov2business that's g-o-v, number two, business and use the hash tag, #specialsauce, yeah, let me know what special sauce you're using if you can kind of beat that level of retainment of staff. And of course when you're doing all this you have become, and you position yourself really is an employer of choice.

Highly-skilled digital specialists will actually want to be part of the experience that you're creating. They can be knocking on your doors. They're going to be attract, basically when you are going out to recruit somebody you're going to be getting more candidates, better candidates in those rare occasions that you actually do have vacancies. The third and probably the final reason, the "how to's" so to speak of what you need to highlight when you're selling the investment that's needed for government to business service delivery - and it doesn't have to be a fortune, believe me, you can actually achieve quite a lot on on a very small amount of money, but you going to achieve a lot more on a little bit more cash - that's the way things tend to work.

BIG benefit 3: the political dimension

But the third thing that really matters is, and there's no other way of saying this, it's the politics.

So whether you're a politically unaligned career senior public servant or someone who's connected to the political machine of patronage, better meeting the needs of businesses has significant flow on impacts at the ballot box.

If businesses have a truly great experience using your digital channel that's been improved they can kind of see, and then know that your government is basically achieving these things. It's easy for them. It's fast for them.

It's helping them start. It's helping them grow.

They're very soon going to be employing. As I mentioned before having people in paid employment contributing positively towards society. They're they're more likely to be viewing their government leaders, those incumbents so to speak, who are obviously running for re-election, as being and doing a great job within the local economy. They then as a result are far more naturally inclined to view them positively and that can be a quite an important thing to do come election time. While I focus this episode on starting and growing local businesses, the same equally applies to attracting businesses to your location.

I had a recent podcast interview that was done with the City of Haverhill with Nate Robertson and Andy Vargas. One thing that Nate touched on was quite frankly, it was quite amazing to hear him say that, is that when they're, when they set up their portal and to aim, it just totally changed the way that they were engaging with business locally, but also outside of the city and trying to attract businesses into the city.

They noticed that there really wasn't a lot of competition around and that they were in a great position to be able to go out and to get their messaging right and to create those relationships and to attract that business into their local city.

That's one other important consideration, the other thing of course is that when you're looking at government to business service delivering and you're trying to attract businesses to relocate and you do start bringing them on board. You do start creating quite frankly a buzz within the local area and even outside of that local area that your location is the place to grow a business.

Again, there's that very much that virtuous cycle and positive feedback loop that's occurring.

But that's occurring within the private sector around why your location then is a great place to come and to do business.

And of course you're also a lot more likely to be seen and be recognized by your government peers and dare I say the competition in other jurisdictions. And let's be honest what politician doesn't like reminding their equivalents, especially their bigger equivalents that they're doing a better job with their economy and attracting businesses out of their states or their cities.

I know that one can be a bit of an ego thing but hey it look it doesn't hurt every so often for a little bit of recognition does it?

Yes, you CAN achieve these benefits

So wrapping things up the three things there that I feel is absolutely essential that you need to consider on when you're going and selling the benefits of government to business service delivery, is that economic development angle, creating jobs, creating strong vibrant communities.

Within government being able to achieve great financial benefits with savings or alternately being able to reallocate resources to be able to do other great things. And creating an environment where people actually want to come to work, they want to contribute, they want to make a difference and who doesn't want to see that?

And the third and final thing of course when you're selling the benefits, people know that your government, your leaders are achieving these things.

They are creating greater economic growth. They are creating that environment where people are getting jobs and communities are getting stronger. So those are those three things for today. I hope they are of use to you.

As I said whether you're just starting the very, very early days of trying to get the message out about why you should be doing this or if you are in that process of putting together a 100-plus page business case, all of these factors and probably a few more you can put down when it comes down to selling the benefits of government to business service delivery.

So thanks very much again today and I'll speak to you soon.