One real united Europe as result of digitizing governments?
In 2001, the year that the euro was imminent, I spoke with experts from around the world about a single European currency. Amongst them, the chief of HR consultants at a global consultancy firm. He noted: “One coin does not make a difference. If all European member states now agree first to start there, it would mean a lot more for the unification than one currency.”
And yet, 16 years later we still speak different languages, even more than we used to do. But the increasing digitization of the government proceeds steadily. At European level you can compare the status of e-Government in Europe in the recently published report “eGovernment Benchmark 2016 ‘. Although many countries move towards the objectives set, the transformation is not as fast as expected.
Public services are generally accessible, that’s right, with 81% online availability. However, is the download of a digital form a measurement for the degree of digitization? For example, the overall score of speed and ease of use is very low. And existing files are still not available digitally and recognizable by its content. And you can only reach the average municipality in the Netherlands by telephone, fax and mail, provided it is not 16:30 yet.
What about in Brdovec? It is a town in the Croatian province of Zagreb. Brdovec has 10,287 inhabitants. Is digitization there already similar to that of a comparible municipality as Westvoorne? Of course not. Such research tells us so little.
Is that a problem? No. The digital transformation process is unstoppable. It is led by some early adapters, including the Netherlands, after which other governments can’t and will not fall behind. It’s a matter of time and patience.
At Sphereon we have this knowledge for over two decades. Our software has no borders, and we, IT people, are used to speak one language. We notice that more and more local and international municipalities and governmental organizations step in our digitization platform. Color, size, political or religious preference and language play no role.