Abstracts: July 31st, 2002

This 5th e-business survey report, prepared by EDS, highlights the findings from interviews with 82 Government Officials responsible for elements of eGovernment in 12 European countries. The pattern of digital methods adoption in government follows that of the private sector – i.e. a series of small tactical initiatives ultimately gives way to a top down overall strategy that embraces the whole of a government undertaking. By now 59% of respondents say they have shifted to an overall strategy. Germany (83%) leads the major economies in its adoption of a strategic approach whilst Spain is the most significant laggard. Six government respondents gave themselves 5 out of 5 for progress in the shift to eGovernment. By contrast only one of the 339 commercial respondents felt that their strategy was complete. Scandinavian countries claimed to be the most advanced whilst French respondents reflected the views of their commercial counterparts i.e. only 18% of French scored themselves 4 out of 5 for progress and several gave themselves just 1 out of 5.

Overall, government claimed to be slightly further ahead in its adoption of Electronic methods v commercial organisations. Not surprisingly, there was widespread disappointment about the progress being made in delivering on the eGovernment strategy. Overall, less than 25% of respondents were content and no one scored themselves 5 out of 5. Italy & France reported particularly high levels of disappointment. Over half of respondents showed major concern about the problems of getting their message across to stakeholders. The outlook for government computing appears to require a continuation of the current thrust to adopt digital methods. The combination of the administrative demands of a more complex society and economy – and the need to service and involve private and corporate citizens in the government process – makes this inevitable. But skills availability may prove to be a stumbling block.

5th e-State of the Nations Report available from: james.fenton@maclaurin.com