A recent study by technology company Oracle showed that in the era of “smart citizens,” governments must transform themselves digitally for the benefit of their inhabitants, including Puerto Rico’s public structure.
“People in Puerto Rico have needs and expectations according to the advancement of technology. They seek and demand quick solutions, answers 24/7, from any place and timely information on the management and transparency of the government,” Oracle stated.
“The era of paperwork must be a thing of the past and states are now responsible to transform themselves digitally for the benefit of the inhabitants of a country,” the company noted.
According to Oracle studies, 45 percent of citizens want to access information more easily, while 50 percent expect to find answers in one place and 60 percent want to have options so that the only destination is their telephone and internet.
Furthermore, 75 percent of citizens prefer to complete transactions online, 86 percent seek support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. States are challenged to change their image, from being entities of paperwork with long lines and whose responses take weeks in arrive, to agile, quick and responsive entities.
“Puerto Rico is at a breaking point, where only those companies that decide to take the step toward digital transformation will have a competitive advantage over their rivals, said Alfonso López, director of public sector for Oracle in the Caribbean.
“The same happens in the public sector, every detail that improves the lives of citizens will be a great contribution to the reputation, image and effectiveness of the management of its leaders,” the executive said.
Presently, artificial intelligence is able to simplify procedures, analyzing information with Big Data and predicting future events, to act timely. Similarly, Chatbots, also known as virtual agents, answer general questions and guide citizens in frequent inquiries, while Blockchain increases transparency due to the high traceability it has and its security. In the meantime, social networks are analyzed to identify the problems that citizens share to act proactively and solve based on real information.
The government’s budget also benefits, since costs are reduced when this type of digital solutions are implemented, considering it has the cloud, they generate meaningful savings in maintenance, physical infrastructure and administration, among others, he said.
Smart cities already exist, and countries also migrate to this trend, which benefits citizens and allows to solve many of the existing complaints, such as paperwork and the delay in response times.
“The digital transformation is also for the state and its governmental organizations. The question stopped being if that digital disruption is necessary, to become a when and where we start,” López said.