80% of Australia and New Zealand residents believe digital Government services are on par or better than private sector, but accessibility improvements needed

Four out of five Australians and New Zealanders believe the digital services they access from Government, such as websites, apps and platforms, are superior or on par with those they access from private sector businesses, new research from Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, has revealed.

The data indicates while most users had positive digital experiences, over 80% noted more can be done for those living with a disability or in regional areas.

The study of 1,500 Australians and 1,000 New Zealanders found most (80%) had accessed digital Government services within the past year, reporting time saving benefits (39%), feeling confident using the services (38%), and finding them easy to use (35%).

“With millions of Australians and New Zealanders now accessing Government services through digital channels, it’s a significant achievement to see satisfaction levels are on par and sometimes better than their experiences with private sector applications,” commented Senior Vice President and Regional Head Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Groth.

“Continuing to evolve user experiences, particularly among diverse audience groups, will be critical to creating truly inclusive digital services as well as help convert those who currently prefer non-digital channels. This includes finding new ways to connect citizens with Government services, enriching their lives through data and reimagining the human experience of both digital and physical touchpoints.”

Serving the needs of those living with a disability

The research found demand for greater data sharing was high on the agenda for people living with a disability. More than two in five (44%) called for medical history and healthcare information to be made available to healthcare professionals to improve the level of personalised care they receive.

But with increased data sharing comes increased perceived risk, with those with a disability more concerned about online security and privacy practices compared to the broader population (46% vs 39%). These citizens also sought more choice over what personal information is shared across specific Government agencies (39%).

Darrin Bond, Assistant Director-General at the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs commented, “Digital government services and apps are central to how we deliver services to citizens. This past year has shown us that digital inclusivity is even more important as people with disability and lower digital confidence are highly impacted by the pandemic and its associated economic impact. We continue to be committed to addressing their needs in services design and delivery.”

Calls for streamlined digital identity

While Australian and New Zealand digital Government services are considered to be world leading, both nations are approaching major turning points to improve data sharing and promote a more holistic approach to the digital citizen experience. In Australia this takes the form of an Intergovernmental Data Sharing agreement, while New Zealand is developing a Digital Identity Trust Framework.

Over half of the survey respondents called for one central sign in to access all digital Government services, noting too many login points at present. The issue of access was exacerbated for those living with a disability. Just under a quarter (24% compared with 19% of all respondents) said they struggled to remember multiple passwords and account credentials for each platform, and 33%(versus 24%) found it difficult to locate the right information.

“There’s a strong appetite for a digital identity that could streamline and simplify how we all engage across the digital economy. However implementing a highly trusted Digital ID that will work seamlessly across private and public sector, is an important part of our journey to be a leading digital economy,” added Mr Groth.

Citizen feedback

The study demonstrates that valuable feedback can be generated by asking Australians and New Zealanders to share their views on how to improve digital services, particularly people who identify as indigenous or those living with a disability.

For example, while the population at large is divided on whether empathy should be built into digital services, anecdotal feedback from the survey indicates it could be especially important for those with a disability. One respondent stated, “when it comes to disability, not all cases are the same, and require human attention and empathy to provide best outcomes.”

In fact, a fifth of respondents wanted more opportunities to provide feedback and recommendations to Government, more popular (27%) among those with a disability.

Over three quarters of all respondents think more digital Government services should be available online, while 7 in 10 people believe they should be available in more languages – especially important among those who identified as indigenous (84%).

“We have a diverse community, so we need to design online experiences with all citizens in mind. There is value in continually seeking feedback and improvements from citizens to ensure we continue to support everyone in the community,” concludes Mr. Groth.

Explore this Infosys research report – What’s Next for Digital Government Services here