The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly forced the acceleration of digital transformation processes previously underway. For government, the sudden emergence of the public health crisis led to a rapid adoption of strategies to both enable Canadian citizens to remotely access services and to allow public servants to work from home in an effort to help flatten viral infection rates.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the adjustments made to drive digital adoption in response to the global pandemic will reveal broader insights into how digital transformation impacts areas such as service delivery, privacy and security, and the workforce. One year into the pandemic, what have been the costs of maintaining the digital status quo and not modernizing sooner? How can these lessons translate into tools for public servants responsible for leading digital transformation?

Project Overview

The Public Policy Forum is partnering with the AWS Institute and working with Valencia IIP, to examine how transformation agendas have been affected by the pandemic and what remains to be done. PPF is revisiting the theme of digital risk, first outlined in a paper released in 2019, The Risk of the Digital Status Quo: How Governments can Enable Digital Transformation 

Substantiated with evidence gathered through a series of interviews with government decisionmakers from jurisdictions across Canada and service providers, as well as roundtable discussion, this paper will investigate the implications for three specified areas: service delivery; the public sector workforce; and, privacy and security.

The paper will be released in Summer 2021.