Adobe study reveals Australian Government agencies are underutilising digital process solutions

Two people in the office using digital document process solutions

During the pandemic, collaboration became paramount, especially for government agencies that needed to find new ways to work together and serve citizens diligently. As governments continue to look to enhance the citizen experience and ensure practical and secure processes, digitsation has become crucial. Adobe recently launched new research conducted by Forrester Consulting about the opportunities and challenges Australian Government agencies face with their digital transformation journeys, including digital document processes and e-signatures.

Stat from the Forrester Consulting report 'Digital Trust in Australia..." stating "68% of government agencies say a lack of technology and tools impacts their employee productivity."

The research uncovered that while the disruptions from the pandemic forced local agencies to accelerate their digital initiatives, most still used a hybrid approach of paper-based and digital documents, with the minority of respondents saying their agency had fully digitised its document processes. It also stated the Australian government is still at the beginning stages of its digital transformation.

Dealing with legacy

In the findings, respondents acknowledged that Australian Government agencies underutilised digital document process solutions and that this could have adverse effects on the citizen and employee experience alike.

The research confirmed that the Australian government agencies still rely more heavily on paper-based processes than other verticals. While only 14 percent of respondents said their agency had entirely digitised its document processes, most continue to use a variety of workflows.

Agencies must keep up with the evolving workplace to remain agile to handle inevitable changes. To drive digital initiatives and prepare for changing demands from citizens and employees, agencies must look at implementing digital document process solutions to maintain a robust system of organisation. Agencies that move to digitise their tools will be better prepared to reach the apex of the digital transformation journey. This preparation will accelerate organisational productivity and keep up with changing customer and employee expectations and experiences.

Lack of technology and trust

According to the study, over half of the respondents (68 percent) mentioned that a lack of technology and tools impacted employee productivity, while 58 percent said their agency had difficulty maintaining security and confidentiality and with the right people having access to specific documentation.

One of the biggest challenges for government agencies is expanding digital services while preserving citizen trust. This calls for the adoption of solutions that can quickly digitise workflow processes while ensuring cyber resilience. Therefore, government agencies must develop a humanised approach to digital transformation. To continue to create trust among parties and to support compliance, government agencies must collaborate with partners who offer identity authentication and signature services.

We are increasingly connected through digital experiences and interactions, which is why it’s so important for organisations to understand how they can meet the unique needs of users and help build trust. Adobe helps build this trust in the public sector through certified compliance attestations for each Adobe product, including FedRAMP Moderate authorization for Adobe Acrobat Sign in the US and completing the Australian Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) for Adobe Sign in Australia.

Looking ahead

Government agencies have undergone a mindset shift in the last 18-months regarding the digitisation of workflows. As a result, barriers to adopting digital document process technologies, such as e-signatures, are fading away. Before the pandemic, 56 percent of respondents said they were concerned about the complexity of integrating signatures with day-to-day productivity applications – this has now fallen to 18 percent.

Australian Government agencies are increasing their investment in the digitisation of documentation, with top priorities over the next 12-months including:

Among its further recommendations, the study states agencies must look at digital document process solutions as general-purpose technologies on the way to a bigger transformation agenda. Adobe offers government capabilities such as Adobe PDF Extract API using AI and ML, using such capabilities will help agencies achieve key objectives, such as improving data-driven policy making, enabling self-sovereign identities (SSI), and strengthening security and compliance.

The key steps for deploying a digital approach is phased as government agencies are moving to modernise legacy technologies and adopt a cloud-based approach.

Methodology: Adobe commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an online study with 150 senior business and technology decision-makers in Australia, Singapore, and India responsible for digital document processing at their organisation or government agency.

The commissioned study Digital Trust in Australia: Reduce Security Risks and Deliver Superior Citizen Experiences with Digital Document Processes’