European governments gaining ground in digital space

07 September 2015

Creating a Digital Single Market is, according to EU officials, key to unlocking huge potential for growth, innovation and employment across the European region. To realise the Digital Single Market, an eGovernment Action Plan was drafted in 2011 that sought to help member countries improve their internal and cross boarder eGovernment service. In a recent report from Capgemini Consulting, the level of implementation of the Action Plan is measured, finding that while some categories are relatively well implemented by a number of countries, other categories – like cross boarder access – still have a long way to go.

Creating a Digital Single Market, by which government services can be freely engaged with internally and across boarders by citizen and businesses in different countries, has the potential to drive innovation, stimulate growth and create employment opportunities across the European region. The economic value of an easy to use eGovernment service platform has been estimated to be €640 billion, according to study from the European Parliament.

In a recently released report, prepared for the European Commission DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, by among others Capgemini Consulting, the level of digital development of eGovernment services is surveyed across 33 countries in the EU-28+ block (+Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey). The report, titled ‘Future-proofing eGovernment for a Digital Single Market’, benchmarks and aggregates the eGovernment sophistication of countries.

Service implementation benchmark

One area unveiled by the report is the extent to which governments are bringing relevant eGovernment policy to implementation, related to the eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 policy. Their 2015 efforts are compared with the previous study in 2013, but along different key indicators, with this year’s benchmark focusing on the ease of dealing with the following life events through the relevant services: starting up a businesses, losing and finding a job, and studying. The components of that plan are spread across three policy priorities that are reflected in the benchmark categories of User- centricity, Transparency, Cross-border Mobility, and the adoption of Key Enablers.

Benchmark by country

User centricity
This category of eGovernment capability explores the extent to which services are provided online and how users perceive the quality of these services. It is the best scoring area overall with a score of 73%.  In this section usability was benchmarked at 80, up from 77 in 2013, while online availability was at 75, up from 72 in 2013. Other factors, like ease of use and speed of use remain fragmented across various territories, with little change in the benchmark at 60 points and 56 points respectively. For a wider performance, the majority of countries stand in the highest cluster, with Belgium, France, Italy, Latvia, and Poland joining since the last report. No countries find themselves in the lowest category.

The second performance category is transparency, whose overall score has increased from 48 points to 51 points since the last report. This benchmark evaluates the transparency of government authorities’ operations, service delivery procedures and the accessibility of personal data to users. The best performing metric is that of making public organisations’ information more transparent, with a score of 60%, up from 59% in 2013, while the personal data score managed to increase slightly, up from 47% to 52%. The lowest scoring category is service delivery, at 41% and up slightly from 39% in 2013. At the country level, Malta and Estonia are the top players, with 16 countries still below the 50% mark.

Benchmark by country 2

Cross-border online public services
This category, which explores the overall experience of dealing with online public services outside one’s own country, is still unsatisfactory, in particular for citizens. The overall score in this category is 48%, up from 44% in 2013. The online availability of services remains low for citizen access, at 46%, up from 42% in 2013. In total 23 or the 33 countries involved are below the 50% mark. For business users however, more than halve of the countries (19) have online service availability, with Malta, Norway, UK, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Cyprus and Estonia in the top performing group for online cross boarder business services.

Key enablers
The final category looks at in how far eGovernment service are using technology as a key driver behind improving online public services and achieving ‘more with less’. This top-level benchmark shows a 1-point improvement, standing at 50%. The best scoring category is Electronic Identification (eID), which is becoming more widely available and stands at an average 63%. Estonia achieves a 100% score, with a similar level to Denmark. Single Sign On, which means that one log in is required for multiple services has a 58% adoption rate, with Denmark, Spain, France, Iceland, Lithuania, and Malta all achieving this service. Authenticated documents also do relatively well, with a 57% uptake, although no big changes since the previous report. This category has one of the biggest variability in uptake between countries; the UK for instance is in the worst performing group, along with Hungry and the Czech Republic. Top performers include Latvia, Denmark and Estonia.

The researchers conclude: “Personalisation and shifting the focus from the national level to the European level are a key next step for European countries when it comes to delivering public services and unlocking the full potential of a Digital Single Market in the near future.”


Four ways digitalisation is transforming car brands and dealers

16 April 2019

From changing expectations from the customer to new stakeholders entering the industry, the digital transformation of global automotive industry means it is facing the wholesale transformation of its business model. In a new white paper, global consulting partnership Cordence Worldwide has highlighted four major digital trends that are transforming the relationships between car brands and dealers with consumers.

With digital transformation drives booming across the industrial spectrum, automotive groups are no different in having commenced large digital transformation programmes to improve productivity, efficiency, and ultimately profitability. Falling sales figures mean the automotive sector is facing an increasingly difficult road ahead, something which means companies in the market are even more hard pressed to find new ways to improve their bottom lines.

While it offers major opportunities, the industry’s move to digitalise is not without complications. It has triggered a series of major internal changes, which have presented automotive entities with the challenge of becoming a “customer-oriented” industry. A new report from Cordence Worldwide – a global management consulting partnership present in more than 20 countries – has explored how automotive companies are navigating the rapidly changing nature of digital business.

New business models

The level of change likely to be wrought on the automotive industry by digitalisation is hard to overstate. Automation could well lead to significant reductions in the number of accidents, higher vehicle utilisation and lower pollution levels, while leading to a $2.1 trillion change in traditional revenues, with up to $4.3 trillion in new revenue openings arising by 2030.

As a result of this colossal opportunity, it is easy to see why almost all automotive groups now have digital departments, with generally strong communication within the digital transformation and the customer approach. The changes to society which this may have are potentially distracting automotive firms from the change it is leading to in its own companies though, according to Cordence’s paper.

The automotive market is dead, long live the mobility market

Because of this, the sector’s business model is set to transform over the coming decades. With digitalisation speeding up the appearance of concepts such as car-sharing, a subscription package model will likely become more palatable. At the same time, car and ride-sharing models will cater to the sustainability criteria of millennials, who will rapidly become one of the automotive market’s leading consumer demographics in the coming years.

Antoine Glutron – a Managing Consultant with Cordence member Oresys, and the report’s author – said of the situation, “These ‘old school industries’ are now working on creating new opportunities, but in so-doing are facing challenges and threats: new jobs, new technologies, new ecosystem of partners, necessary reorganisation, different relationship with customers, and even new businesses. The customer approach topic is in fact a real challenge for car companies as it implies changing their business model and adjusting their mind-set to address the customer 4.0: from product-centric to customer-centric, from car manufacturer to service provider.”

Digital customer experience

In the hyper-competitive age of the internet, even top companies face an uphill challenge when it comes to holding onto customers through brand loyalty. Digital disruption has resulted in changes to consumer behaviour, which is forcing a range of marketing strategists to reconsider their old, possibly out-dated strategies. As modern customers wield an increasingly impressive array of digital tools and online databases, they and are now able to quickly and conveniently compare prices, check availability and read product reviews.

The automotive sector is no exception to this trend, according to the study. In order to adapt to the needs of the so-called ‘customer 4.0’, car companies will increasingly need to change their business model and move away from product-centric companies to customer-centric ones, from car manufacturers to service providers.

Glutron explained, “As an automotive company, you can no longer expect customer loyalty simply with good products; you must conquer and re-conquer a customer that “consumes” your service. The offer now has to be global, digital and personalised. Your offer has to be adapted to this customer’s needs at any given moment. A key issue related to data control is to build customer loyalty by creating a customer experience 'tailored' throughout the cycle of use of the 'car product': purchase, driving, maintenance and trade-in of the vehicle.”

One way in which the sector may be able to benefit from this desire for a tailored experience is via connectivity. Consumers are generally positive about new connective features for automobiles, and many are even willing to pay upfront for infotainment, emergency and maintenance services. Chinese consumers, where the connected car market is set to hit $216 billion, are already particularly interested in paying a little more for navigation and diagnostic features in their future new car. This can also enable automotive companies to exploit a rich vein of customer data, enabling them to rapidly tailor their offerings to consumer behaviour.

New automotive segments

Digital transformation has also brought with it the rise of completely new application areas. As mentioned earlier, the most well-known example is the autonomous or self-driving car, where the last steps forward were not taken by major automotive groups but by technology companies such as Tesla. While this may have given such firms the edge in the market briefly, a number of keystone automotive names will soon be set to take the plunge into the market themselves, leveraging their car manufacturing prowess and huge production capacities to their advantage.

Before companies rush to invest in this market, however, it is worth their while to remember that the readiness and uptake for such vehicles differs greatly geographically. For example, following a study published in 2018, 92% of Chinese would be ready to buy an autonomous car, compared with only around 35% of drivers in France, Germany and US. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of different nations will also be significantly less accommodating of the new technology.

Use digital for steering thr activity

Elsewhere, Cordence’s analysis has suggested that hooking the cars of tomorrow into the Internet of Things is also likely to see a rapid change in the business model for car maintenance, providing real-time diagnostics for problems. This presents chances for partnerships to improve the connectivity of cars, especially with tech companies; for example, PSA partnered with IBM for a global agreement on services in their vehicle. Meanwhile, data could also be sold to other parties with an interest in this data, such as the government, which could use it to manage traffic levels, or ensure that only adequately maintained vehicles take to the road.

Glutron added, “With the increase in the amount of client data and connected opportunities, the recommendation is to set up data-centric approaches. The value is now in the customer data. The general prerequisites are to rework the data model and the Enterprise Architecture and generally build up a data lake including data from all sources (internal and external, structured and unstructured).”

From automotive to mobility

Relating further to the idea of connectivity, the report claimed that automotive firms must now adjust their models in line with the provision of end-to-end mobility, rather than treating the sale of a car as an end point in their relationship with the customer. In order to realise this transformation, transformations are likely to become more and more important.

A network of partner companies means automotive firms can provide a global mobility experience. As the vehicle is increasingly connected to its environment, new partners can also be cities, governments, and other service providers within the global mobility services industry in which the car brands want to take part.

According to the study, the target is clear. Companies must look to a holistic transport service, offering to move customers from A to B in a unique and pleasant way – otherwise they might as well take public transport. At the same time, they should extend the services reachable “on-board” (especially the enhancement of the connectivity between the car and smartphones or other connected devices), and reach high standards in terms of user experience (online sales, online payment, customised experience during and after the use of the car).

Concluding the report, Glutron stated, “These mobility market transformations could be considered a threat for the car manufacturers. Quite the opposite: if they take up the challenge and review their business model so that they become the service provider – communicating no longer to a driver but to a ‘mobility customer’ – they can then take advantage of their expertise and their position as a historical player. The most convenient means of transport are cars, and building a car is highly-skilled work.”