Policy and Procurement: Building Blocks for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy

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Policy and Procurement: Building Blocks for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy

As a global company that is committed to doing business locally, Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector team has supported hundreds of government customers around the globe and has experience working with a wide array of laws, policies and practices related to technology procurement. As such, we have become a “sensor network” of global public sector best practices and are often asked by policy makers, procurement executives and public sector information technology strategists to share our insights on “who is doing technology policy and procurement well and why?”.  

Responding to this complex question, in Building Blocks for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy, a paper co-authored with global law firm Linklaters, we share our perspectives on good public sector technology policy and procurement practices. The paper provides context to each policy building block, referencing countries who have successfully implanted such policies. 

Getting policy settings “right” is tough and is best considered a journey rather than a destination. Given the economic landscape, end-user demands and the technology on offer are constantly evolving, it is essential that policy approaches can flex in tandem. A key observation made in the paper is that policy that does flex and stand the test of time is often principles based, rather than being overly prescriptive. Another key observation set out in the paper is that while technology is undoubtably central to digital transformation, people are at the heart of successful digital transformation.  

The Building Blocks  

As a result of our engagement with governments across the globe, we have developed a comprehensive view of the world’s public sector technology policy and procurement landscape.

The building blocks that have, in our experience, proven to be the foundation for successful digitalization of the public sector are:

  1. A national cloud strategy and cloud first policy
  2. A data classification framework fit for the digital age
  3. Adoption and implementation of a digital identity solution
  4. A centralized procurement function
  5. Use of government framework agreements
  6. Flexible and adaptive finance rules
  7. A collaborative approach amongst stakeholders
  8. Digital culture and technology skilling agenda

For each of these building blocks we have identified their core components, the key challenges each seeks to address, and how certain countries have implemented these building blocks in practice. These building blocks are linked; the implementation of one contributes to the implementation and success of others.

About the Center of Expertise

Microsoft’s Public Sector Center of Expertise brings together thought leadership and research relating to digital transformation in the public sector. The Center of Expertise highlights the efforts and success stories of public servants around the globe, while fostering a community of decision makers with a variety of resources from podcasts and webinars to white papers and new research. Join us as we discover and share the learnings and achievements of public sector communities.

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