Bridging silos in the state

Silos have a reputation for holding back progress in the public sector. But is that accurate, and how do we change the picture?

13 June 2022

Bibi Goba, Oracle. Photo: Karolina Komendera

The public sector stands to benefit richly from its technology investments. It has ample opportunities to leverage digital systems and improve the lives of citizens. There is also an appetite at the top to harness new innovations, as reflected by the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the recent directtive on cloud computing in the public service, issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration.

Yet while the intent is there, making headway inside complicated government departments is a different matter. According to Thato Matsipe, senior CX applications sales director at Oracle, analyst firm IDC projects that by 2023, 47% of services in organisations will be delivered via automation. This leads him to ask: “How do we change cultures and align with where t he market is going from a public sector perspective? I think once we can have that debate, we will also answer how we are going to use technology. The incentive needs to be at a point where, at a ground level, we start understanding the impact of technology, and using it to enable different government institutions to drive a citizen-first agenda. Once we do that, I think we will be able to progress not only with people on the ground, but with leadership as well.”

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