Australian Information Industry Association


AIIA survey shows Australians want government to improve its use of technology to deliver services

Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the ICT industry, today released the findings of a national survey that demonstrates almost all Australians (99%) believe they would benefit from government using the latest technology for service delivery, however they rated Government lowest in their ability to do so when compared to other industries.

The findings of the survey, which was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of AIIA, have been released in advance of AIIA’s Navigating Digital Government Summit in Canberra on Wednesday 5 April.

Despite Australians’ universal interest in seeing government use the latest technology, the same survey reveals there is much room for improvement with only a small proportion strongly agreeing that the Commonwealth (16%), State (14%) and Local Governments (12%) are using technology very well to deliver services to their customers.

And when compared to other industries, the Commonwealth and State Governments were rated lowest in their ability to use technology to deliver services to their customers. Only 19 percent of respondents said the Commonwealth government and 15 percent chose State governments when asked to select the types of organisations which best use technology to deliver services to their customers.

Industries rated higher than government included: banks and financial institutions (64%); online shopping sites (61%); travel information and booking sites (48%); telecommunications providers (39%); entertainment sites (39%); gas and electricity utilities (28%); and health services (25%).

AIIA chief executive officer, Rob Fitzpatrick, says the survey results reflect the high rate of technology adoption in Australia and recognise there is room for governments at all levels to improve.

“Australian consumers have always been credited as early adopters of new technology, which is consistent with our collective desire to see government using the latest technology. Many expect to have the same experience engaging with government bodies as they would with their bank or an online shopping site. As technology advances, customer expectations keep changing, and it’s important that government keep pace,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.

“However, it’s not just about service. The economic benefits from having a digital economy are well known, and there is clear opportunity for government to take the lead and speed up Australia’s digital transformation,” he added.

Almost three quarters of Australians said the main benefit they see from government using the latest technology is to improve the quality and accuracy of the services it delivers.

“What this result says to me is that even though there have been some misfires recently when it comes to execution, such as the Census outages and the Centrelink errors, Australians want the government to progress and improve its use of technology rather than regress back to the ‘old’ way of doing things,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.

Almost two thirds of Australians (64%) believe that the approach to government service delivery that would provide the best experience for customers is to deliver services through a combination of automated channels and customer facing service personnel.

However, a breakdown of the demographics reflects generational differences in comfort and experience with technology. Nineteen percent of Gen Y and 13 percent of Gen X believe that the best approach would be fully automated services, whereas only six percent of Baby Boomers and four percent of Traditionalists feel the same way. On the other hand, 26 percent of Traditionalists would like to remove all automation and have services provided by people in customer facing service centres.

“We are seeing a generational shift based on the exposure and usage rates of technology among different age groups. While a blend of automated and customer facing services makes sense now, we can see how future generations will be comfortable relying far more on technology to meet their needs. I expect we’ll see our government services evolve over time to reflect these changes,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.

The full results of the survey will be presented and discussed at AIIA’s 2017 Navigating Digital Government Summit at Hotel Realm, Canberra on 5 April.

Download a copy of the survey here.

AIIA 2017 Navigating Digital Government Summit

AIIA’s Navigating Digital Government Summit will focus on how technology is transforming the customer experience. The Summit will explore emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive intelligence, robotics and quantum computing and what it means for the future design of government service delivery.

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Genevieve Bell, College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University (ANU);
  • The new chief executive officer of the Digital Transformation Agency (who has not yet been announced);
  • The Hon Ed Husic MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work and Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy;
  • Gary Sterrenberg, chief information officer, Department of Human Services
  • Peter Alexander, first assistant secretary projects, procurement and assurance, Digital Transformation Agency;
  • Louise Glanville, deputy CEO for governance and stakeholder relations, National Disability Insurance Agency;
  • Dan Bognar, senior vice president, APAC solutions engineering, cloud sales, industries and innovation at Salesforce; and,
  • Adi Kavaler, global vice president, products & strategy application delivery management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The Hon. Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation will deliver the keynote at the closing dinner.

About the Survey

This study was conducted online by Galaxy Research among a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Australians 18 years or older.  Fieldwork commenced on Tuesday 14 February and was completed on Friday 17 February 2017. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates. The full report can be viewed at

About the AIIA

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information.

Media Contact

To obtain a full copy of the report, related infographics, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jeffrey Coote
Tel: (02) 8355 3130

Joanna Stevens Kramer
Tel: 0408 466 410