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The State as a Platform: People and Technology

This report by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) is intended to be used as a practical guide and elaborates on the State as a Platform report by the Center for Strategic Research. The publication draws on the experience gained from implementing the Chief Digital Transformation Officer retraining program at RANEPA. While attributing many meanings to the concept of state as a digital platform, the authors focus on where new technologies are likely to lead us and what new challenges to state and society they are likely to bring. Digital transformation itself is viewed as a third wave of digitalization which is going to bring about new business models, products, and processes.

The RANEPA experts enumerate global trends in digital transformation of the State, such as open data, legislation in a machine-readable format, cloud-based state platforms, etc. Apart from that, the authors name big data, neural networks, IoT, blockchain, and digital traceability as the most relevant technologies for the system of public administration and then proceed to describe each of these technologies in detail.

The authors provide a set of tools for introducing digital and platform solutions, but acknowledge that the time when it was possible to solve transformation tasks without changing the public administration system itself is now over. Life situation analysis, process description, requirements description, business process reengineering are some of the things to be implemented to manage processes when digitalizing public administration.

RANEPA gives a list of specific solutions for digital transformation of public administration, which includes selection mechanisms, motivation schemes, training programs, launching prototypes of future «super-services» in pilot regions, building a nationwide integrated data architecture and scalable cloud-based infrastructure, etc. In conclusion, the experts outline possible risks of a completed digital transformation when new technologies will have dominated, mentioning that «errors» will generate more and more side effects for individuals, so knowing why (and what for) digital technologies work will become vitally important.

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