Derbyshire County Council wanted to explore the use of technology to improve access to its services for its citizens. ALCO Consulting was appointed on the basis of its extensive expertise in ICT and smart technology to develop a feasibility and business case for the county.
Citizens are getting smarter as new technology arrives at an ever faster rate; but they do not think in terms of technology and neither are they necessarily technology literate.
Citizens today simply assume that if they want to do something they can; it is the service they are interested in, without any particular reference to the technology behind it. It becomes a de facto assumption that there will be new ways to interface with the world through new Apps and enhanced consumer choices, with day-by-day increasing expectations and aspirations.
The effects on lifestyle covers all aspects of daily activity:
- Reduced need to travel due to online service availability
- Easier door-to-door travel when required
- Flexible means of payment for goods and services
- All required information at one’s finger tips
- Data sharing to facilitate having to enter data only once
- Intelligent personal devices with anytime, anywhere access to services
- Profile and preferences to filter data to that applying/wanted by citizen
- Assistive support for those who require it at home, while travelling and when at public and business locations
The power of personal hand-held devices (such as smart-phones and tablets) shouldn’t be underestimated. Our smart citizens are using them to interface with their homes, their businesses, their medical requirements, public transport, road use and multi-modal optimised and dynamic routing, even doing the grocery shopping as they commute. They’re making payments on the move, earning points and banking as they go. Forget loyalty, these services are instant and will follow the best outcome in seconds. Why would they not? It’s more than evolution, it’s revolution and the consumer has mobilised.
From a service delivery perspective technology is the enabler allowing leaders in customer experience to re-structure their business and operations in support of new service delivery and in so doing, take full advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings that can be realised when their customers have these enhanced facilities and services available to them.
Our public sector clients face similar issues as service user aspiration develops; government departments no longer set the levels of expectation. This becomes apparent where payments can now be made for public transport from bank-issued cards, NFC enabled smart devices and a multitude of other tokens. The choice rests with the user and their convenience noting that the relationship has changed and the customer has a greater level of control.
ALCO Consulting works with citizen service delivery organisations across the world assisting them to work through these very questions, ensuring they remain fully flexible and ‘future-proofed’, ready to embrace rapidly changing technology and an integrated position in a smart-environment future.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with ALCO Consulting on two smartcard projects. Alan Leibert and Chris Shoukry were invaluable members of both teams, particularly during the procurement, proposal evaluation, and system planning phases. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any transit organisation.