How APAC firms can unleash the power of creative disruption
Nov 17, 2019
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“You should all worry – healthcare, telco, entertainment, banking, agriculture, oil and gas will all be disrupted. The clear imperative is to disrupt or be disrupted”, says Dan Cobley.
In a room full of top industry executives who gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the Leap Summit in November 2019, a key question on the minds of business and IT leaders was: how can they implement a more coherent and cohesive digital transformation strategy rather than take a scattershot approach?
The answer could lie in tapping the power of creative disruption, a term coined by advertising professionals in the early 1990s to describe the changes in their industry arising from technological advancement and new ways of doing things.
A similar phenomenon is playing out across industries and cities today. In his keynote address on creative disruption at the event, Dan Cobley, managing partner at UK venture builder Blenheim Chalcot and former managing director of Google UK and Ireland, compared the cityscapes of Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur from 30 years ago to the present day.
“All of this amazing transformation is driven by a series of technology platforms evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. The adoption curve of new technologies by people is becoming steeper and we can see this by how long it takes for new technologies to reach a quarter of the population. Take the US as an example – it took 50 years for electricity to reach a quarter of the population – but the iPhone took just two years.”
The results are inevitable, he added. “If you believe, as I do, that disruption comes from the people who most effectively adopt new technology, then it is obvious that as technology adoption gets faster, the displacement of companies that are not adopting new technologies will also happen more quickly.”
Cobley underscored the increasing speed of displacement of companies by comparing their corporate lifespans. Noting that Fortune 500 companies held on to their status for about 60 years in the 1960s, their tenure in the elite group is just 20 years today and might be cut to 15 years in the next decade.
“You should all worry – healthcare, telco, entertainment, banking and finance, agriculture, oil and gas will all be disrupted,” he said. “So, the clear imperative is to disrupt or be disrupted.”
But how should leaders kickstart the process of creative disruption and rapid transformation, and what should they be looking for?
Blueprint for creative disruption
To pave the way for creative disruption, Cobley called for businesses to first define the problem that they want to fix clearly. This could be a hugely inefficient process, or customers who have been badly served by a crisis, for example.
“Then develop an innovative solution, something enabled by some recent change. Lastly, we must have a motivated team, often with a crazy zeal and a mission to fix the problem.”
Among many examples, Cobley pointed to Google’s two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who gave up their PhDs to tackle the world’s information, the problem of a rapidly growing internet with sites numbering in the millions based on the old directory structure floundering under a basic keyword matching search engine.
“These two people set to work in a garage and tapped a new system to tackle the world’s information, made possible by powerful computers capable of analysing enormous datasets, and developed a site navigation search engine that looks at the authority of a site based on the sites linked to it.”
One of these companies, Salary Finance, sought to answer a widespread consumer finance problem in the UK, where about 70% of people applying for loans from a high street bank are declined due to fears of poor repayment.
“The solution was to work through the employer motivated by a growing awareness of employee well-being. There is a growing body of data linking mental well-being and financial stress. This startup offered an innovative structure, which reduced cost items such as customer acquisition, and so forth, borne by the bank,” said Cobley.
He said these examples demonstrate that a successful blueprint of creative disruption is driven by one or more of three factors: recent changes in regulation; a change in or a new technology; and a change in behaviour and expectations of customers.
“The reason is that most of what has been possible for centuries or decades has already been done,” he said. “But if there’s been a new change in regulation, technology or behaviour then that creates a new playing field. You have a chance to create something special.”
The next stage a company faces is the problem of scaling up, he said, noting that many companies have failed because of their inability to scale. However, scaling a disruptive idea needs to address three things: unit economics, the distribution challenge and execution.
“Distribution is key,” Cobley said. “Trusted partner collaboration underpins all of these three areas and accelerates growth.”
Cobley also shared the story of China’s Luckin Coffee, which has established 2,000 stores in eight months. With a new one opening every four hours, it has disrupted Starbucks in the country.
“Luckin’s business model delivers quality coffee which is 25% to 30% cheaper. The company uses mobile payments and has tapped new behaviour in China – the rising passion for coffee. It has made unit economics work by providing high-quality coffee through a take-and-go store.”
Nurturing a disruptive mindset
Cobley said to generate a disruptive business or enterprise unit, what is needed is something new and better (innovation), put in the hands of lots of people (distribution) and built on a platform.
Achieving all of that is a question of mindset, he added. While innovators seek change to solve a problem, achieve minimum price, take risks and have a long-term vision, he said incumbents prioritise stability to sell a product, maximise margins, avoid risks and look for short-term results.
“To shift to a disruptive mindset, you could reward people who dare, and not punish those who tried and failed. Incumbents are short term, and fixated on costs and shareholder pressure to maximise margins. As leaders, tackle the fear of failure, fail fast, make it very cheap and learn. Then, move on.
To remove innovation barriers, Cobley said organisations could set up an incubation unit like Google X, with non-financial metrics to encourage managed failure. He also stressed the importance of partnerships as most organisations don’t have the people to do the innovation.
“People and jobs are being disrupted and our workforce, our society, must be reskilled and upskilled. The wonders of technological disruption need to be complemented by getting the people factor in tandem with this digital transformation journey.”
With 375 million workers expected to change their occupational categories and learn new skills by 2030 to adapt to automation and digital transformation, going by McKinsey estimates, Manaf said it is necessary for companies to create a people-centric environment for employees to thrive.
“Letting people go is done by mediocre management, not by real leaders,” she said. “Leaders are risk takers – we have reimagined policies in Maybank and our thrust is about humanising financial services.”
For example, she said Maybank’s flexible work arrangements have bolstered the productivity of its staff. “Other work in free time is encouraged, provided there is no conflict of interest. Making staff independent is part of making a future-ready workforce.”
In his closing remarks, Ahmad Taufek Omar, executive vice-president and CEO of TM One, the digital arm of Telekom Malaysia and organiser of the Leap Summit, said while digital disruption is often perceived negatively, positive creative disruption is about reinventing continually.
“Every disruption pivots on creativity,” he said. “A new vision, a new insight of how technology can uplift people and their goals onto a more agile, faster path.”
Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry.
In the pre-digital era, manufacturing plants were deemed an unstoppable force in many economies. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought sharp lessons resulting in factory shutdowns and multiple supply chain disruptions. Even with the continuing battle against the pandemic, the manufacturing sector must intensify its efforts to survive and find new avenues of growth.
Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry, a fact well-recognised by manufacturers across Malaysia and the Asia Pacific, said Sudev Bangah, Managing Director of IDC ASEAN, at the recent Smart Manufacturing Circuit 2020 virtual event organised by TM ONE. IDC analysis has also found that many companies are shifting towards targeted investments in machine learning, cloud, robotics, and internet of things (IoT) to drive a path through future crises as well as to secure growth.
Meanwhile, Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE, the enterprise and public sector business arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) believes, “Digital adoption brings great potential for improving product quality, increasing productivity and creating more high-skilled jobs.” He shared how TM ONE will support the manufacturing industry’s digitalisation journey.
Data is deemed to be crucial for building a resilient manufacturing company. Understanding how well each part of the production line works will help managers minimise wastage, speed up production, and produce better products. Manufacturers need to think about what data they need and what tech they can use to collect it, shared Sudev.
Another crucial aspect is data analytics. Most manufacturers currently record data on paper and transfer it manually to a software for analysis, explained Nazman Fariz Mohd Noh from TM ONE’s Smart Manufacturing Solutions. “This is labour intensive and prone to human error.”
TM ONE has an analytics tool that helps companies gain deep visibility to their production processes. The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) platform delivers an overview of all the processes within a factory using data collected from IoT devices. Supervisors can use this to optimise production hours, identify faulty machines, redistribute production, and monitor products for defects.
The platform consolidates real-time data for each machine, including its schedule, availability, and effectiveness. Managers can chart this on a graph to monitor individual performance over time, or zoom out to see how the overall production line is faring.
The OEE shares all data via online through TM ONE’s Cloud Alpha platform. Staff can monitor the status of each machine anytime and anywhere, said Nazman Faris.
Minimising Costs through Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance is a key feature of the OEE. This will help cut time and costs substantially. Manufacturing companies report that more than a fifth of its costs are due to downtime, and that 90 per cent of maintenance work is eaten up by having to fix breakdowns, Maznan shared.
The OEE platform monitors levels of concern for each machine: low means it’s doing well; middle to high means it might need immediate attention. It also automatically compiles a list of machines with higher attention scores, arranged according to severity.
Once a machine has been identified for maintenance, the technician will take a look at its timeline, alerts, and any notes on the OEE to carry out the repair work more efficiently. Machine experts can also study this information to analyse causes and develop better fixes.
Other Must Have Solutions for Your Digital Operations
In addition to the OEE analytics platform, TM ONE also offers cloud and cybersecurity tools to protect companies’ data. “Nowadays, we can’t have all information or systems on premise, because we know for a fact that on premise solutions carry a certain level of risk,” Maznan said. For instance, businesses may not have the proper disaster recovery services to react to potential cyber-attacks, he explained.
TM ONE is collaborating with technology companies such as Huawei to develop new tools for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. Eng Chew Hian, Business Development Director at HUAWEI CLOUD Malaysia, shared details of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve manufacturing processes.
Huawei’s drone inspection tool uses high definition (HD) cameras, 5G connectivity and AI image processing to study the surfaces of planes. Aircraft technicians run on a tight schedule when conducting safety checks between flights, and manual inspections are time- and labour-intensive.
The drone flies through the plane to search for scratches, corrosions, and loose screws. It also cross-checks the model of the plane to ensure each part meets specific safety standards.
Huawei has also developed an AI image analysis tool for safer aircraft manufacturing. It uses thermal sensors to find gaps when wings are welded onto a plane. Planes have to withstand tremendous vibrations and wind speeds, and any gaps could be disastrous, Eng explained.
“Although the movement control order was gradually lifted, the overall impact on the whole supply chain has been dramatic!” said Maznan. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics are helping Malaysia’s manufacturing plants navigate the uncertainties in a recovering economy.
Next-Gen Tech Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response
Jan 07, 2021
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From drones to data, here are some ways that governments have harnessed technology to enhance emergency response strategies.
In an era of sudden terror attacks, pandemics, and natural disasters: countries must remain alert to counter any emergencies, which could bring devastating consequences. How are governments currently optimising their emergency management strategies to better protect the people and mitigate emergencies?
With each technological advance, governments are taking the opportunity to consider reviewing and adopting their response strategies. Data and the increasingly sophisticated analytics is proven to be one of the fundamental keys to support more effective and faster response tools to governments and support agencies.
Here are some examples of how tech is helping faster recovery for citizens in Asia.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 App
In March this year, just three (3) months after Covid-19 first reached Malaysia, the government released a mobile application to help check and control the spread of the disease. With MySejahtera app, citizens monitor their own health status, and receive latest updates on the pandemic status.
The app groups citizens into categories based on their risk level of contracting Covid-19, and will inform them of the next steps to action. For instance, those under surveillance will have to quarangtine themselves at home for 14 days, while those at high risk must get tested at designated hospitals.
MySejahtera also serves as a contact tracing app. Citizens scan a QR code before they enter a premise or any public places, and the system logs where they have visited in the last 14 days. Users can also register family members who don’t have a smartphone.
The app supports teleconsultations, so that patients can speak with a doctor without having to leave their home. This helps them to stay safe, and eases demands on healthcare services.
Citizens can also plan safer routes by using the app’s hotspot tracker. The system taps machine learning capabilities to identify a possible sources of infection for each confirmed case, and maps it geographically, Dr Mahesh Appannan, Senior Principal Assistant Director of the Disease Control Division at Malaysia’s Ministry of Health told GovInsider.
Disaster Alert Systems Keep Citizens Informed
Managing impact from natural disasters relies greatly on early warning systems and maintaining a continual flow of information.
In the Indian state of Odisha, geoclimatic conditions lead to frequent natural calamities such as droughts, floods, cyclones, and unseasonal rain. Odisha has faced 17 large natural disasters in the past 20 years.
In 2019, the Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority developed “SATARK” (System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge) in collaboration with the Bangkok-based Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System. This mobile application provides automated early warning and real-time information about hazards such as lightning, heatwaves, cyclones, drought, and floods.
SATARK integrates different forms of data from national and international agencies to provide location-specific alerts. Drawing upon historical patterns, SATARK provides users with easily understandable advisories for their specific scenarios, underlining the state government’s guidelines about what they need to do before, during, and after disasters. To enhance user understanding, information is provided in both Odia and English.
The SATARK system also allows users to provide feedback about forecast accuracy in their area, and uses machine learning algorithms to improve upon its advisory generation process. This information improves citizens’ disaster-preparedness, which could prove critical in their ability to minimise losses and injuries during calamities.
In Malaysia, TM ONE, the public sector and enterprise business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), collaborated with the Royal Malaysian Navy and ICT company, Acasia, to develop Kesedaran Keselamatan Komuniti Maritim (K3M) or Maritime Community Security and Safety Awareness, a web app and a mobile app to deliver early warning and real time maritime hazard alerts. The K3M appis connected to various maritime authorities, and available for widespread use including commercial shipping companies, tourism operators, fishermen, and maritime recreational users. Users can also make emergency SOS calls that are routed to a Naval Operation Centre, which will coordinate assistance.
Enhanced Training Systems for Effective Crime Engagement
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is increasingly adopting technology-driven systems to help officers optimise their training and to maximise success when engaging with suspects.
In 2019, the SPF adopted the Range Enhanced Liver Firing Range System, a training aid that provides detailed information to officers during marksmanship practice. This system analyses each shooter’s posture, breathing, gaze fixation and weapons-handling and supplies real-time suggestions, helping officers improve the accuracy of subsequent shots.
The SPF also introduced the Impact Measurement Trainer, a training system to improve the self-defence skills of police trainees. The training system make use of force sensors in mannequins to precisely measure the location and strength of users’ strikes, then provide instant feedback for trainees to improve their techniques.
Such smart systems turn specific data into actionable insights for officers, improving training efficiency to ensure that police officers are able to effectively respond to conflicts.
Leveraging on cloud to support search and rescue operations
Meanwhile, Malaysian emergency response authorities are leveraging cloud computing platforms to improve search and rescue (SAR) operations. Working together with TM ONE, the emergency response agencies utilise the Search and Rescue Operation Coordination System (SAROCS) to support the planning, execution, management and coordination of SAR activities during an emergency.
In SAR operations, comprehensive and timely information is critical. The cloud-based SAROCS enables the data from multiple devices and systems to be integrated onto a single platform, allowing multiple SAR agencies to access crucial data to facilitate an operation remotely. The solution is equipped with a mobile application, which allows users connect to a secure Internet connection and access the main system database, providing on-the-go information to the users. For example, it can provide tracking information to the Rescue Coordination Centre to facilitate the deployment monitoring of search and rescue units by SAR coordinator.
When SAROCS is hosted in the cloud, the search and rescue units can benefit from advanced analytics and artificial intelligence-assisted capabilities powered by cloud to successfully facilitate an operation. For example, they can simulate or forecast oceanography and meteorological data to improve their understanding of search area conditions, which are essential in SAR operations.
The cloud in particular is playing a fundamental role in managing emergency response strategies at scale. While no government can guarantee to stop an emergency, the harnessing of technologies including cloud to gather and analyse massive amounts of information in real-time is equipping citizens and professionals to improve preparedness towards crises, respond more effectively and rapidly during emergency situations, minimise the impact of disasters, as well as improve recovery results.
Cloud ⍺ Series #12: Homegrown Cloud Professionals at Your Service
Nov 12, 2020
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No cloud migration is alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and securely.
No cloud migration is exactly alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience that follow global best practices and compliance standards, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and secure.
TM ONE’s step-by-step guide to cloud migration
We diagnose and assess your readiness to migrate by:
Facilitating the syndication with your stakeholders across business and IT to understand their motivations and desired outcomes
Taking stock of your Digital Estate in
Assessing your risks and develop mitigation strategies
Helping you define a cloud migration and adoption strategy (whether to maintain, migrate, or modernise), embedding cybersecurity and monitoring strategies
Guiding you through the development of the migration plan and project design by:
Developing a process plan towards cloud from both tech and non-tech aspects
Developing a migration solution and contingency plan based on the migration strategy
Preparing all technical requirements and migration guide
Facilitating you through the migration execution:
As you conduct enablement workshops for all stakeholders, getting everyone up to speed for migration
As you prepare the digital assets and environment for migration
As together we undertake the iterative process of assessing, deploying and releasing workloads according to planned waves or releases.
Retuning the migrated workloads towards your desired end state by
Load testing migrated workloads and monitor performance and cost
Retuning and reconfiguring migrated workloads to achieve optimised configuration and size
Promoting workload to production upon your acceptance of performance and cost
By implementing best practices in project management from start to end, TM ONE ensures a smooth migration journey for you.
We facilitate you in establishing and continuously building your cloud governance, which is aligned to your existing IT and corporate governance policies and other compliance regulations. Cloud governance guides the adoption process and helps to manage risks along the journey.
At TM ONE, our local certified cloud experts and end-to-end cloud professional capabilities enable us to support your cloud migration journey so you can focus on your business priorities.
END-TO-END CLOUD SERVICES
TM’s team of certified cloud professionals have a vast knowledge & experience of local migration, designing, developing, and maintaining data centres and cloud for decades.
Our experts are with you throughout the migration process: from advisory, consultation, migration assessment, infrastructure design validation, migration services right up to managed services.
TM ONE offers a vibrant and dynamic spectrum of migration services: Virtual to Virtual (V2V) Physical to Virtual (P2V) Physical to Physical (P2P) Virtual to anything (V2X)
For more information about Cloud Alpha’s cutting edge Professional Services please click here.
This infographic was published in The Edge weekly on 2nd Nov 2020.
Cloud ⍺ Series #10: Forging the Future of Public Services with Cloud
Oct 06, 2020
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By shifting to cloud computing, government services and citizens are only one click-of-an-app away, many processes can be made more efficiently.
Here’s how governments around the world are using the cloud to build better lives for their citizens.
Malaysia, Singapore and the US are among many governments announcing their intent to pivot their operations to the cloud in the next few years. What exactly will this mean for public services?
The Government services sector is different than the enterprise or corporate sectors because it impacts and is responsible to all citizens, totalling more than 30 million Malaysians as well as 10 million business entities. Needless to say, the amount of data it holds is massive and it is crucial to keep these data ultimately secure, said Ahmad Nazri Ambi, Head of Digital Government at TM ONE.
Cloud computing offers huge potential for innovating varieties of new services to support citizens and enhance aspects of the quality of daily life. Thanks to its ability to handle large volumes of information, governments could collect the Internet of Things (IoT) data and develop actionable insights to enhance efficiency and address various issues. The cloud also enables governments to quickly expand new services across different agencies, according to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a public agency driving digital adoption in the country.
We explore how different countries have adopted the cloud to transform the way they serve their citizens by taking advantage of the cloud’s scalability.
1. Expanding digital identity services
Digital identity services have great potentials to enable the government to streamline their services and enable advances in service delivery. A citizen could pay taxes, book a hospital appointment, and apply for loans all in one place without having to re-enter personal information, which contributes to creating a more seamless experience.
Not only it will benefit the citizens – McKinsey research revealed that countries could unlock 3 to 13 per cent of GDP in 2030 by implementing digital identity programmes – as a potential result of increasing shift from the informal economy to the formal economy, increased employment and greater financial inclusion.
The opportunity for digital identity services has increased exponentially with technology advancements, greater access to smart devices, and lower implementation costs. We have seen many nations implementing such services, and initiatives such as the World Bank’s ID4D will help more countries build inclusive and trusted identity systems.
GovTech Singapore leverages the power of the cloud as it works with developers and partners to create more services that build on its national digital identity system. These services are built on a developer platform that is hosted in the cloud, which allows them to quickly scale up and build more services as demand from businesses increases, reports Computer Weekly.
The cloud also makes it easier for GovTech to manage ongoing projects. The agency receives status updates on the progress of each project, and the system automatically sets up a testing environment once the software is ready for trial. It also benefits from cloud analytics that provides key service statistics to aid GovTech in its decision making.
2. Predictive public services
Numerous events throughout history – including the current Covid-19 pandemic – prove that governments must adopt an anticipatory rather than a reactive stance. After all, as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.
In the United States, residents of Kansas City now hit fewer bumps in the road. Thanks to data analytics, the city is able to predict potholes before they appear.
The city government uses existing traffic cameras to gather data on factors such as the age of the pavement. This is combined with information on the weather, traffic accidents or road maintenance to predict when and where potholes might form, reported Government Technology magazine.
City leaders expect that this will allow Kansas to repair or resurface up to 70km of roads a year, up from only about 30 to 40km before. This technology is parked in the cloud – and is another good example of how the cloud can help governments quickly build all sorts of specific solutions to improve citizens’ lives.
As seen from Kansas City’s case, integrating a data analytics tool into existing infrastructure resulted in significant cost savings for the city. It is the added convenience of not having to install new equipment or find new power sources. Large amounts of data are stored in a central and accessible cloud and rapidly processed.
3. Emergency Financial Assistance
The Covid-19 pandemic has created turmoil across the global economy. Economic activities were halted and livelihoods were impacted, spurring intervention measures from governments. The Malaysian government has deployed several financial assistance programmes for individuals and businesses. The Movement Control Order (MCO) measures require that applications must be processed online.
This is where the government’s IT infrastructure was put to the test, noted Ahmad Nazri. “The government was swift to act by shifting several critical services that were previously hosted on-premise – and were facing the risk of overload to the cloud. This helped the services to remain accessible despite simultaneous access requests from millions of citizens.”
Shifting securely to the cloud
We’ve looked at examples of the broad range of uses made possible by cloud computing in the public service sector. Governments have been forced to recognise the advantages and efficacy of shifting their services into the cloud; however, security remains a top concern.
The cloud holds enormous potential for business efficiency and innovation, but also can create a ‘wild west’ of broader and more distributed environments for organizations to manage and secure, said Abhijit Chakravorty, Cloud Security Competency Leader, IBM Security Services.
According to an IBM study, the two biggest cloud security risks are data theft and ransomware. Organisations have to take a unified approach that combines both cloud and security, rather than rely on cloud providers to provide security.
That’s why governments have taken care to guide their agencies into safeguarding their networks during the shift to the cloud.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) released specific guidelines on how to choose a cloud platform. This includes advisories for organisations to carefully consider what services or data they can put on the cloud and to assess if a cloud service provider is reliable and competent.
As the enabler of Malaysia’s digital government, our own cloud platform, Cloud Alpha promises top-of-the-game cybersecurity and data sovereignty, so government agencies can rest assured that citizen data will be protected. Cloud Alpha is hosted in our highly secured Tier III data centre within Malaysia, so data residency is assured, Nazri explained when discussing the key features of Cloud Alpha. In the past, the government was obliged to host all of its data on on-premises infrastructure, but there is now a realisation of the potential power of the cloud for certain applications.
With Cloud Alpha, civil servants can seamlessly make use of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, big data, and blockchain to improve citizens’ lives. As the government is adopting an open data policy, a data lake stored and processed in the cloud will become a powerful source of insights and innovation for government services moving forward, concluded Ahmad Nazri.
When facing the next normal, leaders often find themselves hindered by limited data processing capacity, slow tech-building and ageing infrastructure. By shifting to cloud computing, government services and citizens are only one click-of-an-app away, many processes can be made more efficiently – with the bonus of innovative new possibilities to enhance and forging new services. The ultimate result will be better outcomes for citizens.