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30 April 2024

A week of digital transformation at Government DX


Recently, Hippo participated in the GovernmentDX Conference in Washington DC – a rare opportunity to connect with government representatives from across the globe and discuss the future of digital service delivery. As a Gold Knowledge Partner, we were involved at the heart of what was a very engaging week of discussions with an international audience of digital leaders.

This event is designed to share insight on how technology can be used to deliver high-quality public services for customers. The Hippo delegation included leadership with extensive experience in this field including Darren Hutton, Elisse Jones, Mike Tattersall and Liz Whitefield. Additionally, we were pleased to see Darren and Liz participating in key event panels covering digital transformation and cyber security in central government.

Here are some key takeaways.

Collaboration is key

The conference fostered a spirit of collaboration, bringing together individuals from various government departments, suppliers, and digital delivery partners. This cross-functional approach aligns perfectly with Hippo’s philosophy, as we believe effective digital service delivery hinges on working closely with operational staff.

Learning from diverse perspectives

The conference welcomed participation from countries at different stages of digital service maturity. We were particularly impressed by Iceland’s progress, while also recognizing the UK’s advancements in this area. Sharing our experiences from Justice, Welfare, and Health with other countries was a valuable exercise.

User-centred design as a universal concept

It is often said that The US and the UK are two countries separated by a single language, and we found examples of that across the week, switching seamlessly between “human-centered design” and “user-centred design”. Regardless, the need to have the user, human, citizen or customer at the heart of design thinking emerged as a critical focus. Whether it was cyber security, AI implementation, or digital transformation, the importance of designing and delivering services that are secure, simple to use was a constant focus – themes that align with our values.

Cybersecurity: early integration, clear communication

An engaging panel addressed cyber threats faced by digital services today. Emphasising the importance of involving cyber security experts from the outset of development resonated with Hippo’s established approach. Darren Hutton highlighted how our secure-by-design approach in healthcare services empowers easy and secure access based on user research.

Modern, agile transformation in public services

Liz expertly moderated two panels on Day 1 of the event, “Accelerating Digital Transformation across Government” and “Modernising IT.” Representatives from the US and Canadian digital services shared insights on shared services, healthcare, and veterans’ initiatives. A key theme emerged: designing for the service user, whether they be patients, customers, citizens, or staff. There was a clear expectation for joined-up services that focus on achieving specific outcomes and missions.

The event also highlighted the rapid transformation and modernisation witnessed globally during recent crises. This sets a new standard for us to follow. Liz emphasised the importance of greater collaboration with public servants leading transformation efforts, suppliers, and procurement teams. Additionally, she stressed the need to equip public servants with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities involved in achieving successful transformation.

Tackling challenges behind closed doors

Day two featured a closed-door session with government representatives from around the world. This session provided a platform to discuss common challenges in modernising legacy systems, balancing security with accessibility, leveraging AI effectively, and creating frictionless user experiences.

What next?

Participating in this conference served several key objectives for Hippo. It allowed us to demonstrate our delivery credentials in a unique setting, develop an even deeper understanding and appreciation of UK civil servants, strengthen our partnership with the Global Government Forum, and identify promising opportunities to support a wider geography in the years ahead.

We are excited to build on the momentum gained at the conference. This includes investing in our new relationships and feeding back valuable insights gleaned throughout the week to our team in the UK. The collaborative spirit within the digital service landscape reaffirms Hippo’s commitment to providing user-centred, secure, and innovative solutions for the public sector alongside our valued work in the private sector.

We want to thank our hosts for the week, The Global Government Forum, for putting on such an effective, insightful event. Brining that many perspectives from so many geographies is no small challenge and it was executed flawlessly. We would also like to thank Kevin Cunnington, advisor to the GGF for the opportunity to participate so actively in this event.