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Celebrating two decades of ‘digital governance’

Generalitat de Catalunya has successfully embraced digitalization, thanks to its forward thinking and its long partnership with T-Systems

2023.11.20Urs M. Krämer

The Generalitat de Catalunya is an inspiration for entities seeking effective public sector digitalization

Achieving digital transformation can be a difficult proposition. Market researchers like McKinsey¹ say that less than a third of transformation projects achieve their goals – which doesn’t leave a lot of hope for governments that intensively work on that challenge. But you’ll be surprised to know that a key region in Spain understood the need for digitalization, broke the myth about their complex setups, regulatory standards, and siloed processes, and has been collaborating with T-Systems for the past 20 years to provide digitalized services to its citizens and bring about a transformative change to society.

The journey

The future-oriented Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) – also the second-most populated region in Spain – understood the need for digitalization. The regional government led in the ICT arena by its Center for Telecommunications and Information Technologies (CTTI) wanted to create a sustainable and proactive administration with a laser-sharp focus on modernization and growth in the context of our knowledge-based society. The emphasis was on enhancing user-centered public services, fostering digital skills among citizens, promoting modern and flexible public management and after all, public services transformation, and modernization. 

To meet these ends, the Government of Catalonia, CTTI, and T-Systems partnered in 2003 and since then, we have supported the government in various sectors such as justice, healthcare, education, public function, police and firefighters, and agriculture, providing services ranging from application management and digital solutions to digital workplace and datacenter management. 

Some important milestones

Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona. Spain

We have been actively and proactively supporting CTTI not only by introducing new IT and digital solutions at Generalitat de Catalunya, but also by adopting new trailblazing service models during our long-lasting partnership, which is constantly renewed in a very competitive and aggressive market, and which supports the government’s processes most efficiently.

A fine example of innovation that we executed for the Government of Catalonia is the first “no-paper court”. Although there is still a roadmap to complete, the end-to-end key court processes in the region have now been digitalized and are completely paperless. This has helped in bringing justice closer to the citizens and enhancing the service level and effectiveness of the dealings between the justice apparatus and the rest of its stakeholders.

Also, the integrated academic and administrative system that we jointly created, supported regional schools in improving the quality of education and was the basis for the current on-going evolution; the virtual and integrated one-shop portal for citizen services was an inspiration for other regions and facilitates better and closer public services in constant modernization. Also worth mentioning is the maintenance and evolution of the Primary Care Information System. Our IoT-AI-based solution for new digitalized traffic services has recently opened a new lane to make roads in the region safer. This topic is also an example of several co-innovation initiatives recently launched as part of our collaboration with CTTI.

The manifold gains

With digitalization, the government has been able to improve the accessibility of public services to citizens and companies, protect data, overcome main social and territorial digital gaps, and boost the efficiency of public administration. The administration has become more proactive, automated, and citizen-focused with us as a partner driving transformation and increasing agility. The Government of Catalonia has thus become a role model in the introduction of ICT and digitalization to provide better services to the citizens.

I feel that our long-lasting association with Generalitat de Catalunya has created a model of trust and a stable relationship that has not only helped in achieving the objectives, but also enabled the transition towards efficient and sustainable systems within the government.

One of the crucial aspects of this relationship has been the flexibility and proximity that has been gained by our teams at all levels by attending to the evolving customer needs, business challenges as well as ICT new levers/enablers; our capability to think out-of-the-box; and our service reliability focus as an organization. This has helped the government to make critical business decisions, displace costs, and mitigate risks.

With an in-depth knowledge of the customer and its most relevant processes, we have been providing long-lasting, reliable support for critical processes and key industries, based on an end-to-end service of the ICT stack and from infrastructure to applications, for the benefit of the administration and the citizens of Catalonia, especially during peak times. 

The road ahead

Recently this year, we were able to achieve another significant milestone: being awarded six new contracts, the maximum that tender limitation allowed, out of the seven proposals we presented. This involves contracts with CTTI about digital application management and modernization services for various departments and functions (justice, education, HR, health, data, and files) within the government, including services to manage the existing application functional estate, and implement projects to modernize and update the business scope. I am happy to see that we were able to leverage our delivery capabilities demonstrated through our incumbency and long-standing relationship with the client to present an excellent technical proposal for the deal wins. 

The Generalitat de Catalunya, in an increasingly demanding and competitive scenario according to the current accelerated complex market, is now heading for a digital/cloud world that spans from infrastructure via applications to processes, re-shaping the classical ICT provision models into a new vertical-driven approach that combines and integrates applications and infrastructures with the introduction of new agility, decentralized models, and multi-hybridization architectures. Hyperautomation, new cognitive services, new data platform processes are also some key ICT levers on the agenda that will shape this new model further. Let’s go!

To know more about how we support public administrations and entities in their digitalization journey, visit here.

¹  What is business transformation?, McKinsey & Company,  2023, www.mckinsey.com

About the author
Urs M. Krämer Director Commercial, T-Systems International GmbH

Urs M. Krämer

Director Commercial, T-Systems International GmbH

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