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Mohamad Majid (KPMG) on digital pillars of UAE's public sector –

The economic and social turbulence caused by the pandemic has triggered a shift in consumer behaviour and expectations. Customers’ evolving demands and increasing reliance on digital solutions are reshaping their interactions not only with the private sector but also with public sector organisations.
This driver along with other key emerging market forces is accelerating governments’ technology transformation efforts globally and further pushing the concept of digitalisation in the public sector across the front, middle and back offices.
Citizens want to consume services in an intuitive, user-friendly, and omni-channel experience that is convenient, effortless, and available 24/7. This is driving governments to revamp the design of public services with e-government and citizen-centric digital solutions.
Mohamad Majid, Partner, KPMG
According to Mohamad Majid, a partner in the UAE business of KPMG, technology provides governments the opportunity to transform their citizen experiences. To this end, successfully reaping the rewards hinges on four key pillars – people and culture, technology, data and cyber.
Governments are investing in improving their digital infrastructure and transitioning to cloud native solutions through the adoption of a ‘cloud first’ policy. These investments geared towards developing government wide front-end and back-end e-platforms, are enabling the deployment of digital platforms that help governments design and deliver a faster omni-channel experience to the public.
The upgrade of digital infrastructure allows governments to test innovative methods of service delivery through novel technologies such as metaverse and Web 3.0.
Governments are treating data as a key asset in planning, delivering and even predicting public services. Governments consider inter-agency data sharing as a must, pushing them to develop a more coordinated approach to data storage, analysis and reporting through cross-government data infrastructure.
This data is accelerating the deployment of artificial intelligence and automation use cases, that are transforming government service delivery at a faster pace and at a lower cost.
Further reading: Building the data management bedrock to drive digital transformation.
Protecting critical infrastructure and confidential data is imperative. Phishing, ransomware and theft of personal data are major threats in any organisation. These may impact organisational reputation and customer trust in public institutions, and drive governments to embed cyber resilience and data privacy as design principles into digital services.
Governments require leaders that embody ‘being digital’ in all aspects of public service delivery rather than merely investing in digital projects and initiatives. People are at the heart of digital transformation and ‘digital leaders’ create a culture by becoming active change agents who guide their organisations through new, agile organisational structures, upskilling and governance that focuses ‘outward’ on citizens’ journeys and needs.
Further reading: The UAE is globe’s third most prepared region for organisational change.
The UAE government is leading the journey towards digitalisation with 40 percent of the UAE population using government digital services more than once a week. A contributing factor is the government’s ongoing investment in digital strategies and digitalisation programmes at the federal and local levels.
Dubai’s paperless strategy or Abu Dhabi’s TAMM e-government platform are examples of digitalisation programmes that enable digital first services and internal processes.
A customer-centric mindset is critical when considering the design of public services. The needs of citizens and residents of a country, and personalisation of these services to their preferences is necessary to ensure an automated yet engaging customer experience.
Secondly, building collaborative strategic partnerships with the private sector accelerates digitalisation efforts by bringing in tested technology solutions that can overcome interoperability barriers and promote continuous innovation.
Lastly, a robust governance model with clear risk management mechanisms, coupled with a measurement framework for customer-centricity, will ensure that digitalisation efforts are prioritised in budgetary conversations and well-coordinated across government agencies.
About the author and KPMG
Mohamad Majid is a UAE-based partner at KPMG and a member of the Digital & Customer Transformation practice. He joined the firm in 2014 and has extensive experience in the delivery of projects across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, other countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Established in 1973, KPMG Lower Gulf employs approximately 1,780 people, including 190+ partners and directors, across offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat.


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