Five reasons to ensure citizen-centric government is properly monitored

Australian citizens are increasing their uptake of digital government services, which is a positive development in light of the Australian Government’s strategy for the nation to be one of the top three digital governments in the world by 2025, writes Felix Berndt.

Felix Berndt

Australian citizens increasingly value digital government services during key life events, such as a child’s birth, a loved one’s death, moving into a new house, or finding a new job. According to the Digital Citizen Survey conducted in 2022 by Publicis Sapient, 60 per cent of Australians who experienced a major life event used online government services related to the event.

92 per cent of the 5,000+ citizens surveyed by Publicis Sapient said they would like to use additional digital government services. Digital government services were popular with Australians in 2022, with 94 per cent using at least one digital government service. 56 per cent used MyGov, 55 per cent used healthcare services and 45 per cent used government financial services or taxation online during that year.

Government IT investments

Public sector investments in the online customer journey have transformed the citizen experience for Australians. However, introducing multichannel citizen engagement presents significant technical and compliance challenges for all government bodies. With the increasing appetite for online government services, it is extremely challenging for government bodies to keep up with the demand.

For online government services to work 24/7 as citizens now expect, ensuring that all systems work reliably and are constantly available is important. A recent survey by Datacom found that most Australians prefer to engage with their local council online when providing feedback, making payments and applying for permits and licences.

Due to the increased strain on finite IT support teams and scarce technology resources due to government IT budget cuts, sophisticated and constant monitoring of government IT infrastructure is now essential to maintaining in-demand citizen-centred digital services. Here are the top five reasons why this is essential.

1. Maintaining uptime

Uptime is not just a technical term, it’s a critical requirement for all government agencies. The New South Wales Police officers, for instance, rely on uninterrupted connection to their Communication and Security Command Centre, ensuring continuous secure access to comprehensive and detailed data. The functioning of council cameras is vital for maintaining public safety and traffic flow. Any equipment outages, from office computers to vehicle radios to lift systems, can lead to significant disruptions and pose risks to public safety.

2.  Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a key concern for government agencies, which are especially aware of the threat of hackers and cyber-criminals. Every government entity has cyber security protection in place, including all the regional and local councils, the correctional facilities, the police and other emergency services. Any agencies involved in delivering critical services at a state or federal level, particularly housing, health, education, transport, justice or finance, are continually targeted by cyber attackers trying to disrupt services or steal citizens’ personal information or government employees’ login credentials.

3. Regulatory compliance

Regulatory compliance is a top-level concern for government bodies. They must prove they follow procedures and processes and recording security and privacy measures must be part of day-to-day operations. There are two essential areas to cover: infrastructure monitoring and network utilisation. Network monitoring can help government agencies keep a vigilant eye on both and keep the IT infrastructure running smoothly.

4. Many distributed locations

Whether it’s the branch office of a public authority, a local council in a regional district, or several public data centres, almost all government bodies’ IT departments have to manage and maintain technology infrastructure at distributed locations. One solution is to have satellites at each location (not to be confused with agents, which must be installed on each monitored device). The satellites collect the monitoring data at the locations and send it in an encrypted form to the central instance responsible for the complete evaluation and storage of the data.

Government bodies often have limited IT budgets, so they must keep IT operations and maintenance expenses manageable while ensuring that the entire IT infrastructure is centrally monitored. This calls for a universal solution to monitor all devices and applications and integrate special solutions into the overall monitoring process.

5. Data privacy

Government organisations manage and secure the sensitive data of their citizens using firewalls, virus scanners and backup systems, which are the standard building blocks of an integrated security concept. However, for online government services to work effectively, ensuring their IT systems work reliably is important. Did the backup work? Does the firewall work? Is the virus scanner up to date? A comprehensive monitoring system will include all these elements in the monitoring process.


Citizen-centric online government services depend highly on an available and high-performance network. To guarantee this is fully functioning, IT teams need the appropriate information at their fingertips. Therefore, a sophisticated monitoring system should be at the heart of e-government because the IT infrastructure is the most important asset that enables a government body to provide digital services to every citizen, 24/7, 365 days a year. The ability to leverage monitoring data strategically in real-time will significantly improve a government entity’s ability to seamlessly deliver online services despite the increased strain on IT teams and technology resources in an era of cost-cutting.

*Felix Berndt is Asia Pacific Director at Paessler AG

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