Aldo Agostinelli

Transforming the Public Administration to optimize the state machine, enhancing services and improving the relationship with citizens: according to the report entitled “Public innovation: disruptive technologies which are expected to transform the Public Administration ”, issued by Minsait,  PAs which are willing to meet the target shall push on the accelerator of digital transformation. And to do so, they have to invest on the following 5 technologies: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, digital reality, cyber security and Blockchain. It is worth knowing that Minsait is a business unit belonging to Indra, currently working on a few projects concerning the digital coordination of Italian public administration.

The technologies supporting digitalization

With reference to Big Data, we can say they are a fundamental instrument whose potential and importance have not been fully understood ( or exploited ), yet. The predictive analysis applied to fields such as public health, the judiciary system, school or anti-fraud systems, can anticipate trends and critical aspects and consequently design the most suitable measures and policies.  Working out some models concerning goods demand/offer, the spreading of illnesses or criminality peaks would mean satisfying national and international citizens’ requirements and needs. (Digital disruption, here are the 5 technologies expected to revolutionize the PA).

Artificial Intelligence is instead expected to integrate the work of public officers and make services provided to the citizens leaner and more efficient. Let’s take as an example the chatbots and their ability to satisfy users’ requests in just a few seconds while comparing data to be as comprehensive as possible. In addition to this, AI allows the creation of control systems for monitoring both the overall territory (woods where the risk of fires is particularly high, coastline erosion etc) and the most important infrastructures of a country.

The Blockchain can instead ensure higher transparency and security to citizens, thanks to the digitalization of data logs, with the opportunity for users to be classified as the sole owners  authorized to modify such data, which thus finally become impossible to be tampered with.

Being a mix of augmented reality and virtual reality, the digital reality can be useful to promote high quality tourism and support disabled people.   

Having said so, however, according to Minsait experts, all of the above shall definitely be matched with cybersecurity systems. And to do so, PA should train selected and skilled members of its staff who could prevent and react to possible hacks. And we also need to consider the useful investments which are needed for citizens to become more aware about the issue and learn to connect and use the digital system in a safe and protected way (Fieve digital technologies which are expected to improve Italian public services).

Pushing for boosting

<<Public administration is doomed unless it goes digital >>, said Andrea Rangone, CEO of Digital360. <<Over the past few years, in Italy, things have progressed quite fast in relation to this: digital invoicing is just an example. To have the PA digitalized first of all we need to digitalize its staff , following the issuance of suitable laws and policies aimed at coordinating and harmonizing several complex levels>>. Basically, this can only be done by enforcing some obligations when needed, to create a higher and better digital culture throughout the country, <<to bridge the existing gap with the rest of the world, and boost digitalization >> (Rangone: Incentives for digitalization? They may be needed but only formal obligation can be a real turn of the screw )

A citizen-oriented PA

With reference to the direct rapport with citizens, a new  IO application is expected to be launched in Italy after summer. We are talking about an app developed by the Team endorsed with the Digital Transformation  of the national Government. At the moment, thanks to the co-operation of some municipalities, such application was tested in a beta-version with limited functions. Once fully operational, however, IO will allow users to interact with the PA directly from their smartphone. For instance, you will be enabled to pay taxes such as the car tax, the waste tax and the school tax, by tapping the display of your phone, renew a wide variety of services and also receive notifications concerning the expiration of ID cards and passports and the possibility to immediately book an appointment for their renewal.  The system will also be useful for communicating with the people in case of extreme weather conditions, sending an official warning from the Protezione Civile. Indeed, if the PA is not focused on its citizens’ needs, it will always be perceived as a rigid bureaucracy, despite its digitalization!

What would you expect from an efficient PA and which services would you like to use?  Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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Aldo Agostinelli