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Hani Zain, Partner and member of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice with Strategy& Middle East.
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Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Strategy& report advises government on building invisible services

Digital applications are revolutionizing customer service. Customers need personalized service with minimal interactions, which forces public and private service providers to digitally transform their business models, according to a joint study conducted by the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and Strategy&, part of the PwC network, entitled “Building the future of public sector digital services.”

These entities must aim for an “invisible government” that enables seamless services. For example, private companies would receive clearances and approvals without filing a request. To provide such a service, government entities should know their customers and facilitate data exchange among them.

Government entities in the region have managed to modernize and digitize their services in recent years. Her Excellency Aisha Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of the Government Services Sector at the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, explains how: “The Abu Dhabi government has established TAMM, a one-stop shop for all services. TAMM is built on an entire system of digital capabilities with over 600 digital services. Approximately 90 percent of total government transactions in Abu Dhabi are now conducted through digital channels.”

However, customers are still asking for more. According to Hani Zain, Partner and member of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice with Strategy& Middle East, “a recent survey in one GCC country revealed that around 30% of customers are dissatisfied with the complexity of official websites and the amount of information they have to provide. Invisible government customer service will make constituents’ lives easier and allow these entities to operate more efficiently.”

Aisha Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of the Government Services Sector at the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority
Aisha Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of the Government Services Sector at the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority.

The invisible government envisions to integrate various services to limit duplication of application processes. By monitoring and sharing of data within a unified government platform and predictive analytics, governments can examine customer behavior and offer relevant services. Such government-to-business-to consumer/business models can facilitate business transactions.

The Middle East is moving towards invisible government services. In Abu Dhabi, automatic exemptions and actions are becoming more common when customers change status or request certain services. For example, a person diagnosed with a certain disability at a medical facility is proactively registered to benefit from a range of government services and privileges. This enables the government to better reach people of determination and reduce application burden and waiting times.

To enable invisible government services, governments will need to prioritize a few key mandates, including:

  • Build the necessary foundations to exchange non-sensitive public data
  • Develop interoperable digital platforms and a broad range of technological capabilities. The TAMM platform has already captured a considerable amount of customer data, enabling the analytics unit to derive meaningful insights.

With these steps, governments can proactively provide quality services their customers appreciate, as well as attract international investors.