The state is a service: what will the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine be like?

For many years, ministries were created with the goal of spending money of a taxpayers. Perhaps for the first time we will get a ministry that will earn money. I’m talking about the Ministry of Digital Transformation and their new project — «DiYa» ( the meaning of this word is «action», but abbreviation can be translated as State and Me — SaM, is you like), which was presented last Friday. The event had an online broadcast, but I was on the presentation and now sharing with you the main thoughts about this. The key word here is «perhaps».

The state is a brand (and a brand is a service)

This thesis is not new, and the past government understood it correctly in general — after all, it was not friends and acquaintances that were involved in its creation, but one of the best digital agencies in Ukraine. Someone liked the UKRAINE NOW brand, others didn’t — this is a secondary issue here. What was important was that Ukraine received a face without viburnum, harem-pants and Kobzar (with all due respect to this traditional symbols), we received something modern.

However, UKRAINE NOW was a story about communication and positioning. «DiYa», as you can see, will be entirely about practice. About the “state in the smartphone”, which Ukraine President Zelensky spoke about. And everything looks promising for now.

Both Fedoriv and Spiilka agencies were involved in its creation — I respect both agencies immensely. Despite the similarity of the application icon with Monobank, everything looks and sounds convincing. Even despite the fact that we saw only the presentation of the brand and only the first prototypes of the citizen’s personal account design.

Business Approach (finally)

Similar ideas have already been produced. They were opened with fanfare. Some people praised it, others criticized — and then everyone somehow forgot about this ideas. And all because the task was to push speech from the rostrum, to «PR” it, and not to solve the people’s problem. I liked one of the first theses the new Minister of Digital Transformation said. He said:

“Interaction with the state is a stress”

Yes, it’s true. Pure and sad true. Facing a problem is the first way to solve it. There are no complaints about the flow of information: finally, instead of boring diagrams and text for the entire slide, we see processes painted in the mind map format. Finally, branding and UI / UX are made by recognized market leaders. All this inspires optimism — although no one pointed a specific task timeline, which is not typical for business.

What they’re planning to do?

Make Ukrainians her rid of the stress they get. Specifically — via an understandable personal account of «DiYa» app & web, with the most simplified user scenario for the most popular services. Minister Fedorov optimistically said that after 3–5 years the ministry really wants to “digitize 100% of public services”

We are talking about:

  • Unification of all registries (and there are about 50 of them now) and their transfer to the blockchain;
  • The personal account of a citizen — what does the state know about you?
  • E-residence for simplification of doing business following the example of Estonia;
  • Developer (real estate) account for obtaining licenses;
  • eMalyatko (eBaby — all certificates foe a newborn child in the ready-made mode)
  • Single passport and ITN

And much more.

The final goal of the new ministry — in addition to the happiness of every citizen and his/her unwillingness to move to Poland — is an increase in the share of IT in the country’s GDP to 10%. This is KPI, but too general, it lacks specific subtasks.

What could go wrong?

What to do with the already developed Mobile ID and other services? The answer to this question is not given in any way, Minister Fedorov speaks only about new projects. This is a problem, because you don’t need to break a tool, that already works. If it doesn’t work porperly — you repair it, then implement or incorporate into a single system.

There are no specific deadlines. We were shown a beautiful video, a fashionable font, a logo and a brand book — there are no questions here, the pros did it and feels nice. They told in a beautiful presentation about projects — also excellent, I already believe and hope for the best. Also, Fedorov said that there are already 90 different services in operation, with using cases of it. But my question is where are the deadlines? The deadline for each service that they talked so cool about is what I would like to see as a future customer of these services. And as a business that is ready to help in developing such solutions.

Summary

A cool and powerful presentation, which, however, has its own weaknesses. They are imperceptibly behind trendy gradients and fonts or colorful reports of speakers — but they are. Now the Ministry of Digital Transformation can become a locomotive of the country’s development, or another “Potemkin village”. But I really believe and ready to contribute precisely to the first scenario.