Partnering Government on the Road to Digital Transformation

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In this blog post, Bid-Management Executive, Anne-Marie Russell shares some of her top takeaways from September’s Digital Government Conference and how Abtran’s collaboration with Government organisations is helping to drive a more digital, citizen-centric service experience.

Digital Government

Joined-up thinking

In today’s digital economy, citizens expect to access services with the same level of ease and flexibility whether they’re interacting with a private or public sector organisation. In many ways, there’s more pressure on government organisations to become more open and digitally connected in a data secure and compliant way.

One of the big takeaways for me from September’s Digital Government conference was the importance of pragmatism and joined-up thinking. Transformative technologies like Cloud, AI and Big Data provide opportunities for the delivery of more intuitive, efficient and connected services. However they also require a fundamental rethink in the way organisations are structured from a people, process as well as a technology perspective. And that doesn’t always happen overnight.

Digital Culture

To reap the benefits, there must be a long-term commitment from the top down. Staff must be educated and empowered. Traditional silos must be transcended and aligned. Organisational cultures must be instilled with behaviours like openness, collaboration and connectivity.

Collaborative Partnerships

At Abtran we’ve found that the evolution of digital services requires a more collaborative and design-based approach. It’s about partnering closely with the client and focusing on the citizen early on. The roll out of SUSI’s online student grant application system in 2012 is a case in point.

While the technology played a significant role in the design of the grant application system, the focus on the student audience was key. Today, the system handles 99% of online applications while the use of social media channels like Twitter and Facebook make it easy to reach thousands of students in near real-time. Student Grant queries are typically responded to within a 24-hour period with the social media team handling over 40,000 interactions per scheme year.

Focus on the citizen early on

The Road Safety Authority has also taken great strides towards digitisation with the launch of the online National Driver License Service (NDLS). The new system, which is being rolled out on a phased basis will enable 100% of driver licence renewal applications to be processed online in 2019.

As well as centralising and automating traditional paper based processes, the system makes it easier for citizens to self-serve online while their applications are securely verified and stored in a safe environment. The end-to-end design and development of the service required close collaboration and alignment around the citizen early on. All processes were fully tested in a secure environment before being rolled out to the public.

Fundamentals remain the same

As services continue to digitally evolve – a great deal has changed. And yet Abtran’s value proposition remains the same. It continues to be about collaborating closely with our clients as well as our industry partners. It continues to be about being agile and sharing practical know-how. And it continues to be about delivering a citizen-centric experience from a people, process and technology perspective.

Find out more

Abtran works with highly regulated organisations to deliver a better, more efficient citizen service experience. For more information about our digital service capabilities, visit or email the team at

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Gary Sayers

Chief Operating Officer

Gary has been with Abtran since 2011 and in his role as COO, he has overall responsibility for Abtran’s operational process. He ensures that Abtran maintains service excellence through consistent, industry leading delivery solutions. Gary works in close partnership with operational teams to execute the company’s vision, goals and growth strategies.

Gary has a wealth of experience in Customer Service Management, Operational Transformation, Customer Engagement, Operating Model efficiencies and Stakeholder Management across a number of sectors. In his role as COO, Gary has a significant focus on sponsoring the career development pathways of our people.

Gary holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has a Degree in both Civil Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology 

Marie Downey

Chief Performance Officer

Marie has worked with Abtran since 2019 and has 20 years of experience as an IT and service optimisation leader. In her role as Chief Performance Officer, Marie has overall responsibility for Abtran’s product service offering, service design, and service capability including all PMO activity. She is a highly skilled relationship and people manager and constantly seeks to innovate and collaborate to deliver the best service outcomes.  Since joining Abtran, Marie has overseen a number of successful mobilisations of new service contracts and led our strategic initiative portfolio. Prior to working with Abtran, Marie worked with several leading multinational organisations. She is a graduate of University College Cork, holding a Bachelors degree in Commerce and Masters degree in IT and Management Accounting.

Chief Technology Officer

Paul joined Abtran in early 2020, bringing nearly 20 years experience in the IT industry. 

As CTO, Paul’s technical leadership is centered upon articulating a clear vision and strategy. He is responsible for aligning the technology vision for Abtran with the business objectives. He has overall leadership of the execution of technology strategy, partnerships and external relationships. Paul draws on a wealth of experience in designing scalable distributed systems and is focused on evolving our IT engineering capability. Prior to joining Abtran, Paul worked with international FinTech and Telecommunications organisations. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick.