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Microsoft Industry Blogs – Canada

Around the world, organizations of all types and sizes are fully engaged in digital transformation. For governments, digital transformation is focused on improving citizen engagement, empowering government employees to be productive in and out of the office, transforming services and service delivery, and optimizing the way governments operate. While we often hear about international leaders like Estonia with their 95% of government transactions online, a recent CI GovConnect conference in Victoria highlighted world leadership in government innovation close to home in British Columbia.

This event provided the opportunity to hear from change agents like the honorable Amrik Virk, Minister, BC Ministry of Technology, Innovation & Citizens’ Services in prepared sessions and then explored the digital transformation themes in 6 Integrated Round Table discussions moderated by government leaders. In his opening remarks, the Minister Virk touched upon digital transformation throughout BC programs as well as the government’s prioritization around using technology to optimize government services. He took the opportunity to highlight the service transformation evident in the BC Developers’ Exchange (, a trial of a new approach for government to have its software requirements met without the overhead traditionally associated with the RFP process.

Other speakers emphasized the government’s focus on putting the citizen at the center to simplify their interactions. The BC Services Card was used as an example where a common credential has helped unify service delivery and simplify citizens’ interactions with the government. One of the panels explored opportunities for optimizing operations through interjurisdictional work in Canada. By leveraging pan-Canadian approaches, open data and common standards there are opportunities to reuse and grow common solutions across communities. The panel sessions concluded with an exploration of how privacy impacts innovation, with a follow-on discussion on how privacy can provide a foundation for innovation in service delivery.

Of course, the digital transformation that is characteristic of the fourth industrial revolution, in which we find ourselves, has its foundation firmly established in hyper scale public cloud services. And so, at the Microsoft round table we explored the subject: “The Next Wave: Public Cloud Models.” Vibrant conversations were held throughout the day with areas of focus ranging from the business value of cloud to specific details of how enterprise cloud services, like those provided from Microsoft datacenters in Canada, can help address British Columbia’s privacy and security requirements. We shared many stories on how Canadian government’s have begun their transformation, such as NAV Canada, City of Regina, Region of Peel, City of Brampton, CBC Elections coverage and many stories globally.

Many of the visitors to our Public Cloud Models discussions were eager to move forward and explore opportunities for service transformation using the cloud and were looking for assistance to get started.

The Microsoft Consulting Services team has developed an exclusive ACCELERATE Digital Transformation workshop developed for Governments and Ministries to help establish their digital transformation strategy, roadmap, and action plan. Through this workshop, we help Ministries evaluate ideas and develop new ones to improve their digital strategy and transformation plan by defining scenarios; illustrating and exploring transition barriers; investigating transformative tactics; considering business, experiential, and technology issues; and educating the decision makers. For more information on this workshop, please contact Shelley Staples: BC Public Sector Services Executive (604) 616-4698

After a full day of stimulating and thought provoking discussions, it became very clear that government ministries in British Columbia have a digital transformation mindset and are eager to continue to demonstrate Canadian leadership in service innovation.

For more information on how Microsoft can help Governments Digitally Transform, visit: