Voices from Accenture Public Service


Get to Know Me, the second trend in Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019, explores how technology-driven interactions are expanding technology identities for every civilian or warfighter. For Defence organisations, this means an expectation to offer the same level of personalised, digital services that other industries are providing.

With technology becoming near-ubiquitous in citizens’ lives, Defence organisations can harness the data footprint this generates to build personalised relationships with citizens. Organisations, including many in public service, are moving beyond one-off transactional exchanges and into a seamless flow of exchange with individuals. For the Defence industry, this could improve recruitment methods by using data to match the right candidates to the right positions. It would also allow better visibility for planning reservist or civilian positions in crisis time. And, it would give Defence organisations the opportunity to build individually customised training programmes and provide that training in a virtual environment.

These benefits are accompanied by significant responsibility. The success of these personalised relationships will depend on the degree of trust that they inspire. Without that, citizens or warfighters may decline to interact with new services. Therefore, it’s crucial that citizens are able to have a two-way discussion with Defence organisations using digital tools. And while we know citizens want more digital experiences, we suggest that Defence organisations ensure that digitalisation does not replace a working environment full of rich, human interactions that the workforce of the future expects from the armed forces.

The degree of personalisation that organisations pursue should depend on a careful understanding of the line between what citizens will perceive as valuable and what they’ll view as intrusive. With 74% of public service leaders expecting the amount of data they collect about citizens to increase either exponentially or significantly within the next two years, they will need to ensure that they use that wealth of information with care. Civilians and warfighters need to feel that the reason a Defence organisation wants to get to know them is to provide help, information and better opportunities, and not to help themselves.

So how should Defence organisations move forward? Personalised training programmes are already being rolled out in many organisations, but there are still many other opportunities to ‘get to know’ citizens and warfighters. From using citizens’ data to create tailored reserve assignments to building a more personalised recruitment process, the Defence industry can use data to form stronger, more advanced armed services. However, Defence organisations should consider that they use the knowledge they have about citizens responsibly, determining the limits of acceptable personalisation and abiding by local data laws.

How would you strike the right balance between personalised and intrusive when recruiting for new roles?


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