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Opinion and Editorial

Digital government: Bottom line

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori
Filed on September 14, 2020

The needs of users in the digital environment are clear: they want things easily and fast

Starting from the last point of the previous article, will the super apps model be the focus of the next stage of digital transformation?
The answer is not as easy as a simple yes or no.
During the last decades, the nature of the relationship between government entities has changed gradually from 'silo', to cooperation based on transparency, then to integration, which became an important aspect of electronic/digital maturity. Today, as society has become an essential partner in digital transformation, integration between government entities' systems alone is no longer sufficient. We are talking about a transformation in the ecosystem of digital life.
In this vibrant digital environment, messages move seamlessly between platforms, systems and servers, while being carried through small programmes called application programming interfaces (APIs). This software is similar to neurons of the human body.
Thanks to this system, we are today in a new phase that is characterised by a digital nation, which includes government, society and the economy as the three components in one body whose cells interact together.
This change is going to affect the lifestyles of many.
In the APIs environment, the customer has the last word in defining service channels and the ways to get the services. Algorithms play a pivotal role in facilitating decision-making based on artificial intelligence. Traditional methods of customer service are gradually replaced by community management, while loyalty becomes closely linked to the extent of satisfaction experienced in using services and applications.
In this environment, user experience becomes the only criterion and standard for the level of demand for various platforms.
The needs of users in the digital environment are clear: they want things easily and fast. As for quality control in the new digital world, it is done through two very important performance indicators; customer confidence and the reputation of the institution or application, all of which are measured by the systems themselves.
This new digital ecosystem is what we have to pay attention to in the next phase. This is a necessity for nations that have chosen the path of digital transformation. A smart city does not exist without an understandable 'language' through which millions of devices, platforms and stations communicate. This language is the same as the APIs. We must start developing controls, regulatory frameworks, plans, strategies and policies needed to manage this dynamic new digital environment; or, be left behind.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori is the Head of Digital Government and Director General, TRA

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