Citizens seek secure, retail-like public sector engagement: survey

citizen engagement

Matthias Goehler, SAP

Citizens are expecting the same convenience, availability, service, and connectivity from their governments and public organisations that they are used to having while shopping online, according to the findings of a recent global citizen engagement poll by SAP.

The survey, which gathered responses from more than 500 people from 45 countries, found that public organisations can increase value and drive the adoption of services by providing a more convenient, retail-like environment for their citizens and that they can increase the use of online services by improving the mobile user experience of their services.

These findings dovetailed with the recent release of the SAP Hybris citizen engagement accelerator solution, which is optimised for mobile use and presents consistent user-friendly interfaces regardless of the back-end system in use.

“Smart citizens expect smart governments to know who they are and how best to connect with them consistently across channels,” said head of SAP Hybris industries Matthias Goehler. “SAP provides a solution that allows government agencies to provide their citizens with convenient access to information and the means to engage with them so civic services are provided quickly and most efficiently.”

Asked what areas were most critical to them when it comes to smart cities and digital government services, respondents of all ages reported that data privacy was high on their list. Members of Generation Z in particular are not willing to adopt new technologies unless they see a clear benefit and their data is protected. The study found that none of the respondents is willing to share their data if they do not believe it is secure or fear that it could be reused.

SAP’s customer data management products from Gigya are designed to alleviate some of these concerns by helping organisations to provide citizens with transparent online experiences and control over their data, while also reducing security risks.

All respondents ranked as very important the ability to access public information and city services easily, in real time using any device, as well as the ability to pay for services using contactless payment options.

SAP is helping public organisations address these concerns with an integrated web form in its citizen engagement accelerator solution, which enables users to report an issue or submit a request instantly. In addition, a dashboard in SAP’s solution for the public sector allows citizens to view their personal information and that of their family, while a relationship “permission” model enables them to delegate authority to individuals to act on their behalf.

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