report The Future of Digital Government

Executive Summary

Digital public services are about feel as well as function.

This report draws on our work with governments worldwide and the best thinking from marketing and communications. It looks forward to the next evolution in digital government and digital public services, a model we call ‘’ This report describes the four key transitions to reach and offers guidance on how to achieve them.

The Digital Journey

For many governments, the journey of digital transformation began well over a decade ago: from the earliest programmes that aimed simply to provide information on websites; to the online delivery of transactions such as tax, benefits and licensing; to the latest initiatives that seek to provide citizens with personalised digital experiences.

At each stage in the journey we see governments becoming more sophisticated in how they seek to engage with their citizens online and a growing sense of ambition for how digital.


Brand Experience takes a brand experience approach to digital public services. It considers the look and feel of digital experiences, as well as tone of voice, interaction and user journeys.

Digital brand experience is about what users think, feel and do when they interact with a brand online. It drives outcomes (e.g. engagement, completed transactions) as well as reputation and satisfaction. Digital brand experience design considers look and feel, voice, interaction and journeys.

Diversity of Experiences offers a diversity of experiences to reflect the different types of relationships that citizens want from their public services. For example, citizens expect a different kind of relationship with their tax authority from the relationship they have with elderly care services.

Brand Architecture
The need for diverse experiences must be balanced with the need for government to appear cohesive and coordinated. Getting this right requires a nuanced brand architecture, rooted in the local political context. Multiple brand experiences need not undermine the cost benefits of centralising government digital infrastructure.

How Personalisation Works in Practice

The eCommerce industry has developed sophisticated tools and technology to power personalisation, some of which could be adapted to public sector contexts with relative ease. This diagram presents the standard phases of any personalisation process.

Governments can collect a spectrum of different types of data. Each requires different levels of user consent, and this varies across countries. Governments should only use data with the consent and trust of their users. We can make useful inferences from even limited datasets. The more we can infer about who the user is, what they are doing, where they are doing it and what they want, the better service we can provide.