When you think of the phrase “leaders in digital transformation” you immediately think of government, right? Of course not. But that is starting to change.

Traditionally, government agencies have struggled to modernise legacy systems, as their challenges are many: Multiple agencies and departments with multiple, disconnected data sources; siloed implementations of commercial applications; bespoke legacy applications in antiquated programming languages; constantly changing policy directives; ever advancing technology and a constituency that has grown accustomed to engaging via smartphones and web portals; and, of course, increasing funding constraints.

Constituents want to interact with government on their time and through their preferred channel. In fact, in a 2015 survey from Deloitte of more than 1,200 government officials from over 70 countries, 96 percent characterised the impact of digital technologies as significant, with the majority of respondents saying they were still in the early or developing stages of modernisation. 

For many, the reality hasn’t changed much since then so, it’s encouraging to see government agencies that are tackling those challenges. One of these is the Andhra Pradesh State in India, which is on a mission to transform into “a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy” supported by one coordinated platform for citizen-centric services.

Andhra Pradesh has a vision – to rewrite entire citizen services on one platform, upgrading old legacy systems to create a modern, digital platform with a single source of truth. Instead of being light years away from modernization, the state is moving at warp speed towards digital transformation.

Their goal is to standardise applications across 7 state missions, 33 departments and 745 services – making them accessible to millions of users with all kinds of end-user devices, and supporting connections between constituents and government, government and business, as well as government to government transactions. 

To achieve those goals, they recently selected Pega to power their digital core platform – and the selection process was rigorous. In addition to a detailed Request for Proposal, the finalists were required to participate in a 48-hour onsite hackathon to build out a real-life application from the ground up against required specifications. Pega achieved 90% of the required functionality. (By the way, the next closest competitor achieved less than 50%. You can read the press release on the vendor selection and learn more here.)

Andhra Pradesh exemplifies the real change that can happen when government entities embrace a low-code, agile approach. They can leverage existing data sources and provide an omni-channel, citizen-centric engagement that can support current and future technologies. Plus, the state will have the flexibility to deploy apps on-premises, in a cloud environment (private, public, or hybrid), or move between these environments. In short, they will have the agility to modernize existing systems and extend applications as technology, policy, and constituent needs change.

In many ways, the stakes for government are higher than the private sector. As stewards of taxpayer money, governments must ensure every dollar spent contributes to immediate needs and builds a foundation to support change. Projects that focus on innovation and agility, like the one in Andhra Pradesh, will lead the way to digital transformation and better constituent services.