By: Jack of Hearts, Analyst, Bloor Research
Published: 19th November 2002
Copyright Bloor Research © 2002
The march towards a true eGovernment suite of services is gathering steam according to the latest study from Taylor Nelson Sofres. The company has just completed a global study of eGovernment adoption and found that as many as three in ten, 30%, of the global community have accessed eGovernment services in the last twelve months. This is great news for one of the other great challenges facing the Governments of the world.
Year on year comparisons beg to differ of course and the facts speak for themselves. eGovernment usage rates have risen by 15% over the past twelve months when a still impressive 26% of the global community had used eGovernment services. It seems that everyone is gradually overcoming the problems and concerns they have had with eGovernment and are turning to it in their droves.
The biggest problem facing potential users previously, apart from a lack of available services, was security online. Today that's not such a concern. 23% of those questioned said that they were happy with transmitting their personal details, including credit card details, online. This compares favourably with the same response twelve months ago when only 14% were happy to give such details. Having said that, 90% of the Japanese and 76% of the French said they thought eGovernment services were unsafe. 15% of eGovernment users have made online transactions using these services too, which is about the same as the generic Internet audience, which suggests its a maturity, rather than Government, issue.
Unfortunately the UK is not one of the countries that can claim impressive rates of eGovernment adoption. In fact it's amongst the worst, next to Japan, with only 13%. So much for Tony Blair's electronic Government claims. The Swedes are leading the charge with a mammoth take-up rate of 57% of the population. Norway is in hot pursuit however with 56% of its population accessing eGovernment services in the last twelve months. Scandinavian countries, along with Singapore and Hong Kong, in fact are the clear trail blazers when it comes to eGovernment.
The global community is turning to eGovernment primarily for information, cited by 24% of those questioned, with 11% specifically downloading information from eGovernment sites. In fact, says Taylor Nelson Sofres, it is this search for information, rather than the specific use of transactional services, that has driven eGovernment adoption. The proportion of people searching for eGovernment information has risen from 20% to 24% in the twelve months to September 2002.
This has long been an ambition for the Governments of the world. Having seen businesses streamline their operations and deliver services through technology and the Internet, they are rushing into this area with considerable gusto. They want to experience those benefits too. But it's a difficult thing to do. That's why you hear about so much project failure in Government. The scale and complexity of the projects are such as to make them challenge even the most battle hardened project manager. They are tackling these projects though and, gradually, they're delivering real value at grass roots and corporate level.
Posted: 19th November 2002 | By Wendy Hewson www.hewson.co.uk :
eGov: adoption, access and the user experience
At Hewson Group we have just come to the end of what is probably the most extensive research ever undertaken into the on-line user experience in the commercial sector and our findings are highly relevant to the debate about how to measure the adoption of eGov. In the UK eGov progress is measured in terms of access (BV157): the % of services that can be delivered electronically.
100% e-enabled but only 60% e-delivered?
Consider this. Every one of the private sector companies we sampled would be entitled to claim to have enabled the electronic delivery of the interaction. They would report 100% compliance with the UKís BV157. From the user perspective however the story is different. On average, private companiesí websites are seen as too slow, confusing, intrusive, insecure, or simply broken by about 40% of people who would otherwise like to use them to buy on-line. Reporting on the proportion of services e-enabled gives us no clue as to the quality of the on-line user experience delivered, nor if it provides value for money.
The Taylor Nelson Sofres research you feature is interesting but it is a mistake to interpret differing levels of online user access as indicative of the relative state of eGov nation by nation. The adoption (read success?) of eGov can only be assessed by measuring the things that actually matter to users, such as their perceptions of the online service, the percentage of users able to complete their transactions on-line, or the time taken by the public sector to act on their requests or fix their problems, certainly would.
Posted: 21st November 2002 | By Rob :
e-Government is the biggest con out there, £5bn of tax payers money absolutly wasted.
You can't believe any authorities figures for e-enablement they are all fudged.
Believe me, if you could see how much of tax payers money they waste there would be an outrage.
And I work in e-Government implementation (not for much longer though)
Posted: 21st November 2002 | By Chas :
I've had to deal with some of the bureaucrats in the UK who are responsible for getting IT services for the NHS going. These people know little about IT (especially information security) and not much more about healthcare. There is NO WAY I would ever consider using any kind of transaction with e-Government. It concerns me greatly that confidential information will be on government computers with little protection from network attack. Especially if the UK government does not ditch Microsoft for any internet exposed system.
Posted: 21st November 2002 | By GraceCourt :
Hear, hear, for the above! For example, government departments using any platform whatsoever can connect to the Government Gateway securely... as long as they purchase (and of course licence) the Microsoft box to provide the interface!! So you pay licence fees for two product platforms, or you can't play. Might as well rename it the Microsoft Gateway and give the data away to whoever wants it....
Posted: 22nd November 2002 | By Enhancer :
Sadly no surprise & yet another inexperienced bureaucratic idea deserving spin - it seems the gravey train will continue... Anyone noticed the similarity to 20 years ago in the private sector, before the internet arrived, businesses had silo's of proprietry information and talks today of open standards. I hoped the Govt guru heading this push would have had a govt/country dictated or open architecture, as again each govt dept seems to have its own silo'd information of proprietry solutions...Another 10 years and we could get to open standards, at a price... If my recent experience of a legacy NHS is to go by, one and all will be selling their own costly trojan horses into these nieve organisations.
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