It’s been a difficult year already, especially for public services. Following the extensive damage caused by our summer’s bushfires across the country, the world was then shaken by COVID-19 and governments everywhere faced a series of difficult challenges and choices.

We’ve seen the immense shutdown of travel – significantly limiting the movement of people and goods everywhere with widespread economic ramifications. Government, healthcare providers, suppliers, and other industries are co-ordinating in ways we have never experienced before to ensure continuity of service and that the public remain safe and informed.

To help organisations as they navigate through this challenging period, SAP recently hosted a series of virtual forums called 2020 Adaptive Strategies in a Changed World. This digital event featured industry-specific episodes to provide perspectives on how businesses might adjust, adapt, and thrive in this crisis.

I participated as part of the public services session alongside Lee Miezis, CEO at Bushfire Relief Victoria and Simon Bush, GM Policy and Advocacy at Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and managing director, Bush Consulting. Together we discussed the impact of COVID-19 on workforces, legislation, risk and compliance, and the critical role of technology in helping businesses and society emerge from this stronger than before.

Let’s take a look at some of the key points that were discussed:

The Vital Importance of Good Data
Governments have crisis plans but putting them into effect at scale is challenging at the best of times. How this is done can have a massive impact upon our lives, families, society and our economy.

The main challenge lies in when to act and how to ensure successful execution especially in the middle of the crisis itself. Lee will provide insights from his experiences during the recent bushfire crisis, the vital importance of data to enable smart decision-making, and how they have built a culture of resilience to adapt in times of need.

Rebuilding Trust Through Technology
We’ve spoken previously on the importance of building public trust by understanding citizen’s expectations and experiences. The wide-reaching capacities and applications of technology make this easier than ever before. Intelligent technology was a vital cornerstone in creating the experience economy, and now – more than ever – people’s experiences will inform how well we emerge from this current crisis.
Citizens need to feel they can trust governments – especially during times of crisis.

This means being transparent in terms of response and funding, ensuring people understand the legislative changes that are developing as rapidly as COVID-19 news unfolds. Communication through digital platforms not only facilitates better accessibility for public service providers and citizens, but can be used to help co-ordinate response efforts across industry sectors.

To learn more about how public services and governments are mitigating risks and responding to this global pandemic, sign up to the second edition of the Adaptive Strategies in a Changed World series – going live on August 6th 2020.