Government of Canada

Transforming a nation’s social services

The Government of Canada has embarked on a large-scale transformation program to deliver a client-centric solution focused on digitally enabled excellence. It will transform social services into a modern platform, enabling Canada to become more agile in policy implementation and improve its citizens’ experience when accessing these services.

Challenge

Create and confirm roadmaps for multiple legacy benefit program transformations within a 10-year
transformation program for a national social services system.

Solution

Fujitsu’s DX Consultancy works with stakeholders, to build consensus and focus across workstreams with leaders and system
integrators to create an effective model for transformation and success in achieving deliverables.

Outcomes

  • Shortened key delivery times and reduced overall program risk
  • Built consensus and focus
    across workstreams and aligned Canada’s transformation team
We have completed the majority of the foundational work for the Benefits Delivery Modernization program, and are now in place to see the first major outcomes delivered.

James Garnier, Public Sector Director, Fujitsu

12 month

Reduction in specific project delivery times

40%

Time-saving through use of the virtual concierge

  • Industry:   Public Sector/ Government
  • Location: Canada

About the customer

The Government of Canada is a federal body responsible for the overall administration of its 38.25 million citizens, across ten provinces and three territories. As with many national governments, its departments cover areas such as employment, taxation, immigration, health, and finance. This ministry is the government’s fourth largest department and impacts over a third of citizens annually.

Modernizing Canada’s social services system

Canada is one of the world’s leading economies, a member of the G7, and consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

The country has an enviable system of social services. Across its employment insurance, old age security and pensions, Canada’s benefits service assists 9.5 million people annually and impacts over a third of its population. Social services payments account for 5.3% of Canada’s GDP.

With some areas of the benefits service using aging mainframe systems and processes dating back up to six decades, the Canadian government wants to transform and streamline the way social services are delivered. It has embarked on a 10-year transformation program designed to improve citizen experience and find new operational efficiencies. Digital workflows will, it is hoped, ensure that payments are consistent, accurate, and timely.

Benefits Delivery Modernization is a mammoth task tied to a huge responsibility. Canada makes 166 million social services payments each year, with many citizens relying on them for basics such as housing and food. To add further complexity, many recipients’ personal circumstances are constantly changing. Individual functions remain siloed, and like many public sector operations, staff are held back by legacy IT infrastructure with varied compatibility. There have been previous internal attempts to upgrade the system, but none have succeeded.

Canada also has a significant technical debt on these aged mainframe systems. The Benefits Delivery Modernization program intends to fully address this technical debt while also providing Canadians with a modern, digital social benefits platform that engages with the citizens in a secure, interactive and intelligent manner.

The 10-year transformation requires multiple vendors working across multiple projects, from technology platforms to analytics to user experience. The government required a coherent plan to restructure the program into more manageable projects with a new cultural vision to support the outcomes. A new cultural vision was also required alongside the practical challenge. At a macro level, this would picture what the social services requirements might look like in 10 years. At a micro level, what type of team skills would be needed to drive this transformation?

Helping shape a 10-year transformation

Fujitsu Digital Transformation (DX) Consultancy Services worked alongside the Government of Canada and the project’s three other system integrators to help shape the 10-year transformation. The engagement involved Fujitsu subject matter experts across multiple domains, sharing lessons learned on similar engagements worldwide.

The multiple project streams involved different levels of complexity. This required Fujitsu experts to examine very specific and detailed aspects and make key recommendations based on global best practices. To start, the DX consultancy team led workshops to understand the client’s business challenges and better understand their transformation vision.

“This is a 10-year program with five additional five-year extension options, so it could reach 35 years overall,” says James Garnier, Public Sector Director at Fujitsu. “We’re three years into multiple phases and have completed a dozen or more projects in preparation.

Three projects that required the attention of Fujitsu DX Consultancy Services: Security
in Identity Management; Talent Management and Integration Advisory and Consulting.
The latter looked at program management, alignment, integration, and project
dependency management to improve project quality and decrease program risk.

“The advisory stage allows the client to change or develop their goals and priorities, and
what they want to factor into key decisions,” says Garnier. “It’s vital to establish whether
an approach is viable going forward."

Engaging senior leadership to deliver against a long-term plan

The engagement with Fujitsu DX Consultancy enables the Government of Canada to quickly align project goals. It establishes a measurable plan for delivering key aspects of the transformation, validated against return on investment. In addition, it enables the Government of Canada to optimize policy agility around changes to social services while continuing to improve their delivery. Crucially, it also mitigates the risk of project failure and the associated potential impact on vulnerable citizens.

The Fujitsu team worked across multiple advisory services, engaging directly with over 25 senior-level staf f members within the Government of Canada. More broadly, the team also involved senior leadership within other federal departments, including the Treasury Board Secretariat. In total, over 800 members of the government’s transformation team were involved.

There are now clear roadmaps for key projects, helping to mitigate risk as well as simplify processes and strengthen governance. Regarding the Government of Canada’s Cloud First Policy, Fujitsu DX Consultancy worked closely with cloud providers and the client to ensure solutions within the cloud environments met the secured Protected B, medium integrity, and medium availability security designation.

In terms of talent management, the engagement guides Canada on how best to retain talent and provides the freedom for teams to move between departments. The Integration Advisory and Consulting stream outlines how Canada can evolve and mature integration across its social services programs. This evolution required Fujitsu DX Consultancy to understand the citizen’s journey through the current system and the omnichannel experience, particularly having to repeatedly log into different systems. This then created a journey map outlining the current and ideal future state.

The engagement is expected to deliver a range of efficiency savings. Design work on a specific project to overhaul pensions is expected to be delivered 12 months ahead of schedule, and a new virtual concierge service is predicted to reduce the workloads of the government’s service teams by 40%. Overall, there is now a greater degree of connectivity between departments and project teams, and a single source of truth.

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