The Public Sector is falling for the "easy" central solutions trap

Governments everywhere are working hard to get the benefits of the Digital revolution - driven by the "easy" solution of giving citizens direct access to transactions systems both to save administrative costs and to give better service. The intentions are good and tempting.

However the easy Central Approach paradigm fail to understand and incorporate the dangers and damage of simply plugging identified citizens onto centralized it-systems like we have been doing with employees. Consequences are devastating for all critical evaluation dimensions - economics, security, rights and usability.

Countries are pursuing approaches with minor differences, but when you analyses approaches they are all based on Single National Id and massive centralization of power and control while failing to build sustainable structures that can adapt to individual needs and choice. Not a single version of a citizen- and needs-centric approach without even the potential of creating Citizen Profit seems presently under implementation.

The problems are much worse than simply a lack of citizen involvement in the development phase - the root problem of the massive centralized approach pursued almost everywhere is that we loose flexibility, adaptiveness while risks are rapidly scaling out of control and systemic misuse and economic distortions at the expense of society is exponentially growing.

The alternative is not decentralized lack of structure or manual structures as that would loose the potential benefits from digitalization. It is often seen political spin to use this as a strawman for worse centralized approaches.

Making this a question of plague or cholera is failing to understand the real problems and questions in how to utilize the benefits of digital networking without massive concentration of power and risk leading to an increasingly ineffective and unstable society. We need a third way.

What we need is a Public Sector Renaissance driven by better understanding of the economics and digital requirements. A public sector where processes adapt to individual needs instead of adapting citizens to the implicit behavioral control and interests involved in the provisioning structures.

But this also require the nuances to respect that a public sector is not - and should not be considered - a homogeneous unit, there are vastly different problems related to creating and maintaining a framework for society such as emergency response and critical infrastructure in one end over sustainable legal and court justice to effective Public Sector services such as e,g. healthcare and education in the other end.

To understand the core of a Digital Renaissance, we need to start by assuring we are asking the right questions and defining sustainable principles while also exposing the rapidly escalating problems of the centralized approach.