In recent years, the necessity of DX has become a hot topic, and one of the triggers is the DX report of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. DX in Japanese government is said to be inadequate .
In the DX report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, one of the reasons was the “ legacy system ”.
A legacy system is “a system that has problems such as technological obsolescence, system bloat and complexity, and black boxing, and as a result, it hinders management and business strategies and causes a high cost structure.” is defined as
In this article, we will introduce the challenges and solutions of DX faced by the Japanese government, referring to other DX success stories.
Table of Contents
- What is Government DX?
- Administrative reform through DX
- Purpose of government DX
- Advantages of government DX
- Government DX market size
- Japan’s administrative DX lag in numbers
- World e-government ranking
- Online administrative procedures usage rate is 7.30%
- What are the two challenges facing government DX in Japan?
- Shortage of human resources
- Difficult to break away from legacy systems
- Three mindsets that promote government DX
- Improving services for local residents
- Smooth operation
- Building a system that is easy for everyone to use
- Three points in promoting administrative DX
- Point 1-Development of DX human resources
- Point 2 – Long-term, Whole-Whole Effort
- Point 3 – Review of existing system
- Administrative DX carried out by the Japanese government
- digital agency
- “Digital Government Action Plan”
- “Local Government DX Promotion Plan”
- Government DX example in Japan
- Reduction of administrative expenses by digitizing premium gift certificates
- Reduction of minutes preparation time by introduction of meeting minutes preparation support system
- Introduction of an online system for administrative procedures jointly with municipalities
- Providing a system that provides life support for the elderly
- Administrative DX Promotion Cases and Successful Cases in Other Countries
- Aiming to explain the issues of government DX by utilizing successful cases
What is Government DX?
First, I will explain what administrative DX is.
Administrative reform through DX
Government DX is the use of digital technology to reform administrative services and improve the lives of residents.
In other words, government DX is the digitalization of the public sector and is deeply related to our lives.
Purpose of government DX
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications cites the following three reasons for promoting DX in government and local governments.
- Improving convenience for residents by utilizing digital technology and data
- Utilizing digital technology, AI, etc. to improve operational efficiency and use human resources to further improve government services
- Unification of data formats and smooth distribution of diverse information
In this way, it can be said that the purpose is to introduce measures and systems that improve the convenience of residents by utilizing digital technology and data.
Advantages of government DX
For example, the Digital Agency has clarified a policy for all local governments to transfer 17 items, including national health insurance, child allowances, nursing care insurance, and individual and corporate inhabitant taxes, to a standard system established by the government by fiscal 2025. I’m here.
By standardizing on the standard system, applications can be processed smoothly even if you move, and there is an advantage that both residents and staff can reduce time, effort, and costs.
In this way, the advantage of government DX is that it reduces the time, effort, and costs of the people in charge of administration and residents, and improves the convenience of administration by unifying systems and utilizing data.
Government DX market size
According to Yano Research Institute Ltd., the scale of the solution market for local governments in fiscal 2020 is estimated to be 685.85 billion yen (up 3.2% from the previous fiscal year) based on business sales.
Since the government announced a policy to standardize and share local government information systems, more local governments have postponed new investments such as updating core systems, and the market is on a downward trend.
On the other hand, various policies such as special benefits and subsidies have been launched due to the new coronavirus infection, and business outsourcing (BPO) such as introduction of related systems, administrative agency, and inquiry response has expanded.
In FY2021, the market size in FY2021 will be 3.1% compared to the previous year due to the continued postponement of the standardization of core systems and the demand related to COVID-19 has decreased since FY2020. It was expected to decrease to 664.55 billion yen.
Japan’s administrative DX lag in numbers
As I mentioned earlier, Japanese government is currently lagging behind in DX.
In order to make it easier to understand how far behind it actually is, this time we will introduce the data of “World e-Government Ranking” and “Online Administrative Procedures Utilization Rate”.
World e-government ranking
In the ” World e-Government Ranking ” announced by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2020, Denmark and South Korea ranked second, continuing from the previous survey (2018).
Japan has fallen from 10th to 14th .
The survey is evaluated on three points: Online Services Index (OSI), Human Capital Index (HCI) and Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII).
Japan has a particularly low score on the Human Capital Index, ranking 23rd .
Online administrative procedures usage rate is 7.30%
In 2018, a survey was conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regarding the rate of use of administrative procedures online .
It looks at the percentage of people who have submitted a completed application online through a public agency’s website in the past 12 months.
Japan was the lowest among the 30 countries surveyed at 7.30% . By the way, Iceland ranked 1st with 79.55% and Denmark ranked 3rd with 72.77%.
What are the two challenges facing government DX in Japan?
From here, I will explain the two issues that Japan’s government DX faces: ” lack of human resources ” and ” difficulty breaking away from legacy systems .”
Shortage of human resources
One of the reasons why the promotion of government DX in Japan is not progressing is the lack of human resources .
In recent years, the shortage of labor force due to the declining birthrate and aging population has become a social problem in Japan. This problem is also spreading to local governments, and the number of employees in local governments has decreased by about 520,000 by 2020 after peaking in 1994.
In order to further promote DX, it is also necessary to secure DX human resources. The government is facing the problem of such a shortage of human resources.
Difficult to break away from legacy systems
One of the challenges of government DX in Japan is the ” legacy system ” mentioned at the beginning.
Specifically, there is paper culture . Currently, local governments still use paper for decisions, settlements, procedures, and so on. Even if electronic payments are introduced, there are some local governments that do so in parallel with paper payments.
This has created an inefficient situation, such as the task of posting online the information written on paper by residents who come to the window, and the room being filled up just to store a huge amount of documents.
In addition, there is a current situation where investment in new systems is postponed .
In municipalities, it takes several months from budget request to parliamentary decision. A system has been built that cannot speedily improve operations.
Three mindsets that promote government DX
The following three mindsets are important for the government to promote DX.
- Improving services for local residents
- Smooth operation
- Building a system that is easy for everyone to use
Improving services for local residents
In promoting government DX, it is important to have a mindset from the perspective of residents.
Municipalities have an enormous amount of work to do. Promoting DX is expected to improve the efficiency of such operations and reduce human errors.
This will also allow us to work on other tasks that add value to our citizen services .
In addition, by making it easier to manage information, you can analyze information, grasp the current situation of the region, discover new issues, and take countermeasures .
In addition, by promoting DX, procedures can be made online. For residents who cannot go to the counter for various reasons, this new form of procedure will be an important point to enrich their lives.
These efforts will ultimately lead to a more comfortable life for local residents.
It is very important to promote DX in the entire administration , not just by one local government or organization .
By promoting DX, it will be possible to share information more smoothly and accurately between local governments than ever before .
It is also possible to reduce the space used to store huge amounts of documents, as well as the time and effort required to find the information you need .
In addition, it is also possible to avoid confusion at the counter in an emergency .
Building a system that is easy for everyone to use
Finally, the most important mindset in promoting government DX is to build a system that is easy for everyone to use .
It is assumed that people of all ages and backgrounds will use government services. It is necessary to provide a system that is easy for anyone to use.
The promotion of government DX will make the procedures very easy and convenient for young people who are digital natives .
In addition, for people who are not familiar with the Japanese language, such as foreigners living in Japan, the administrative procedures are very complicated and the hurdles are high. By promoting DX, it will be possible to go online and support multiple languages, and we will be able to meet these demands.
In addition, online procedures are important for people who are too busy to go outside and who do not have time to go to the counter.
On the other hand, consideration for users unfamiliar with digital technology is also essential .
It is necessary to make a balanced DX promotion plan.
Three points in promoting administrative DX
The following three points are important for promoting government DX.
- Development of DX human resources
- A long-term, whole-body effort
- Review of existing system
Point 1-Development of DX human resources
In order to promote administrative DX, we first need human resources to plan and support DX promotion .
In order to eliminate the lack of understanding of DX and spread it within the government, we need human resources who have sufficient knowledge of DX and a willingness to work on reform.
Point 2 – Long-term, Whole-Whole Effort
DX means not only adopting digital technology, but also transforming an organization.
This means that you need to plan for the long term instead of trying to do it in the short term .
In addition, it is necessary for the entire organization, from ministries and agencies to local governments, to work together, rather than promoting it by only a few organizations .
This makes it possible to bring about changes in a large organization such as government.
Point 3 – Review of existing system
The legacy system has been cited as a cause of delays in the promotion of government DX.
When operating in the same system for a long time, there are voices saying, “Isn’t it okay to continue as before?”
However, we cannot solve the current problem as it is now .
It is essential to break away from the existing system in consideration of efficiency and benefits for citizens, residents, and employees.
Administrative DX carried out by the Japanese government
From here, we will introduce three administrative DX that the Japanese government has done.
- digital agency
- Digital Government Action Plan
- Local government DX promotion plan
I will explain each in detail.
On September 1, 2021, the Digital Agency was launched to supervise, supervise, and maintain administrative information systems.
In addition, not only the government but also the whole of Japan, such as regional common digital infrastructure, planning and drafting of the My Number system in general, support for digitization in the private and semi-public sectors, data utilization, realization of cyber security, securing digital human resources, etc. I am in charge of the work to promote DX.Quote: Cabinet Public Relations Office , Cabinet Secretariat ” Summary of Basic Policy for Reforms toward the Realization of a Digital Society ”
“Digital Government Action Plan”
The ” Digital Government Action Plan ” was formulated in 2018 with the aim of embodying the direction of the 2017 “Digital Declaration/Public and Private Data Plan.”
In principle, the target period is from 2020 to 2026, and the following measures are specified.
“Local Government DX Promotion Plan”
The Municipal DX Promotion Plan announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications was formulated to promote DX throughout society from the issues that emerged when local governments were busy responding to the spread of the new coronavirus infection. .
The aforementioned “Digital Government Execution Plan” was decided by the Cabinet in December 2020, and the DX promotion of local governments was included in it. In response to this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications formulated a plan for the entire local government to actively participate in this nationally-led plan.
It clarifies the system development for DX promotion in local governments , matters that should be addressed in particular, and matters that should be addressed together with DX promotion .
Government DX example in Japan
Here, we will introduce the DX case of government in Japan.
Reduction of administrative expenses by digitizing premium gift certificates
In Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, the business related to premium gift certificates, which was carried out on paper in 2019, was digitized in 2020 in order to realize the spread of cashless payment.
As a result, although the business scale doubled from about 800 million yen to about 1.5 billion yen, administrative expenses were reduced from 148 million yen to 54 million yen. In addition, digitization has made it easier to analyze consumer behavior based on data, and it has become a useful index for policy evaluation and planning.
Reduction of minutes preparation time by introduction of meeting minutes preparation support system
In Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, when creating meeting minutes, it took about 3 to 8 times as long as the meeting time because it was necessary to re-listen to the recorded voice multiple times.
Therefore, we introduced one terminal for the minutes creation support system using voice recognition technology using AI, and as a
result it took 3 hours to create minutes if data recorded in an appropriate sound collection environment was used.
As a result, we were able to reduce the cost by about 10% .
Since the effect was confirmed in the demonstration experiment, two terminals were added from June 2nd year of Reiwa to make it a three-unit system, and all offices were notified, and the lending of the minutes creation support system was started
Introduction of an online system for administrative procedures jointly with municipalities
In Shiga Prefecture, when residents apply for administrative procedures, there are cases where it is difficult to determine the necessary documents, etc., and municipalities have also faced the issue that responding to inquiries from residents has become an administrative burden.
Therefore, in 2020, the prefecture led a joint research project with 14 participating municipalities (Otsu City, Kusatsu City, Konan City, etc.) to solve problems.
First, as a model project, we will create a system (living procedure guide) that guides you through the procedures required when moving, such as a moving-in notification, and the documents and counters required for such procedures (Guide to Living Procedures), as well as create electronic data for application forms, etc. We carried out trial operation of system (general-purpose electronic application system) that we could apply for.
After the trial operation in the three cities in the prefecture, in 2021, the prefecture and some of the 14 participating municipalities will start joint procurement, construct a unified and easy-to-use interface for procedures for residents, and implement one-stop administrative procedures. made it possible.
Providing a system that provides life support for the elderly
In Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, in 2019, the public and private sectors worked together to develop a matching system that provides living support (eating, shopping, cleaning, etc.) for the elderly.
This makes it easy, convenient, and speedy to search for information useful in everyday life, as well as solutions to problems in everyday life.
Administrative DX Promotion Cases and Successful Cases in Other Countries
Overseas, governments have already been promoting DX for some time.
This section introduces the contents and results of each region (Europe and Asia).
As examples of administrative DX in the European region, we will introduce the examples of ” Denmark ” and ” Estonia “.
Denmark, one of the world’s leading administrative DX powerhouses, has won first place in the digital government ranking for two consecutive terms.
Since 1968, Denmark has already issued a CPR number (≒Japan’s My Number). As a result, we have succeeded in centrally managing all data such as family register, educational background, tax payment history, and medical history.
By linking the CPR number and personal authentication system, administrative procedures can be completed online .
Estonia is said to have one of the world’s leading e-governments .
The general term for this concept is “e-Estonia,” and information is managed digitally in many ways, such as issuing electronic IDs and digitizing health-related data. Electronic ID (“e-Identity”, “e-Residency”) boasts a penetration rate of 99% , and 99% of healthcare (“e-health service”) is said to be conducted online.
Furthermore, we promoted “e-Governance” and succeeded in digitizing 99% of administrative procedures .
As administrative DX cases in the Asian region, we will introduce the examples of “ Taiwan ” and “ India ”.
Due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection in Taiwan, there was a shortage of masks nationwide, as in Japan.
Along with this, the government has restricted the number of purchases per week for citizens. The government will buy all of them and sell them after verifying their identity.
Therefore, Audrey Tan, who was the Minister of Digital Affairs, developed a system called ” Mask Map ” in 3 days, built a system that can check the store and inventory status in real time, and the mask shortage problem was solved .
In India, DX was used to combat poverty.
Even now, there are still many people, mainly in rural areas, who do not have identification cards, and many of them are illiterate. Therefore, the Indian government has given a digital ID “Aadhaar” to the entire population .
As a result, we succeeded in giving digital identification IDs to 1.2 billion people in four years. It also led to the opening of bank accounts by those who could not open a bank account because they did not have an ID card, as well as the creation of new businesses.
In addition, by linking digital IDs and account information, companies have been launched to grasp individual asset information and use that big data to provide services for people in poor areas.
Quote: TRUSTDOCK Co., Ltd.
“ What is government DX? Thorough explanation of the background and examples of domestic government digitization, the importance of data, application to identity verification, etc. ”
Nishinippon Shimbun Media Lab / AI Solutions Co., Ltd.
“ “Taiwan 13th, South Korea 10th, Japan…” Japan’s DX situation lagging behind the world | DX.With | Web media that supports corporate DX strategies ”
Aiming to explain the issues of government DX by utilizing successful cases
How was that.
This time, we focused on DX in government and introduced its challenges and promotion methods.
Overseas, it seems that the movement to actively incorporate DX in the government has started quite some time ago.
By all means, let’s promote DX with reference to successful cases.