Nearly One-Third of U.K. Citizens Unaware of Digital Government Services, Accenture Survey Finds​

Most citizens who use digital government services are satisfied with them

London, U.K.; July 15, 2019 – The majority (62%) of U.K. citizens who use digital government services are satisfied with their experiences, according to results of a multi-country survey from Accenture. However, almost one-third (28%) of citizens surveyed said they don’t use or know how to access any government digital service.
 
The goal of the survey — which queried more than 5,000 citizens in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. — was to determine current levels of citizen engagement with digital government services, the current state of such service offerings, and citizen support for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies to deliver government services.
 
Just under half (45%) of respondents in the U.K. said they would increase their use of digital government services if they could access multiple government services from an online portal. Additionally, half (50%) said their trust in government would increase if the government better communicated how the technology innovations they were deploying would improve the lives of citizens.
 
“Citizens are increasingly used to accessing their services through digital platforms,” said Shaheen Sayed, Managing Director for Health & Public Service at Accenture. “While it is very positive to see that most citizens are actively using digital government services and they are satisfied with that experience, there is still a group who need to be connected to what’s available online. By communicating to citizens about what services they can access online and how the use of technology is benefitting them as individuals, trust in the government will grow and the gap between awareness and use will quickly close.”
 
The survey found that as citizens become increasingly mobile and tech-savvy, they expect government websites and digital capabilities to provide functionality and benefits comparable to those available from the private sector. For instance, two-thirds (62%) of respondents identified ease of interaction as being most important when accessing government services online. 
 
The survey also found that as citizens increasingly access more user-friendly AI-driven solutions in their daily lives, they expect the same type of innovation to make it easier to access government services. Just over half (51%) of respondents said they would increase their use of digital government services if AI were used to help deliver the services online around-the-clock, and even more (54%) said they would increase their use of government digital services if government used AI to better defend against cybersecurity threats and protect their data. 
 
The research also indicated a demand for digital government services that are more personalised — such as by addressing an individual citizen’s preferences, age, demographics or location — with more than half (55%) of respondents favoring proactive content from government applications. However, less than half of respondents (47%) want government digital services to include more options for citizens to customize their user experiences. And only 43% want to be able to make payments to government agencies online through a preferred payment method. 
 
Country Comparisons 
  • One third (29%) of survey respondents from the U.K. do not use or do not know about any government digital services — in comparison to 8% of respondents from Singapore. 
  • Only one-fifth (22%) of U.K. survey respondents said they access government digital services several times a year — compared with more than half (56%) of respondents from Australia. 
  • The majority (57%) of respondents from Singapore believe government should make greater use of innovative AI technologies — compared with just over one-third (37%) of U.K. respondents. 
  • More than two-thirds (70%) of respondents from Singapore said they would increase their use of government digital services if their government used AI to deliver the services online around-the-clock — compared with just over half (51%) of U.K. respondents.
 
Methodology 
Accenture surveyed 5,010 citizens aged 18 or older in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States on a variety of public service issues and topics. The survey, undertaken in collaboration with Market Strategy Group, was conducted online in April 2019. Results for the full global sample are statistically significant with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of +/- 1.3 percentage points.
 
About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 482,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
 
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Contact:
 
Rosie Milton-Schönemann 
Accenture UK & Ireland 
+44 77 6928 6484