Leadership and Strategy

Leadership is a crucial component for national and digital transformation, including in articulating the country's digital vision. Recognizing that this transformation is about more than technology, effective leaders will be able to break down silos and build longer-term digital foundations. Part of this involves engaging people and maintaining buy-in when difficulties, delays, and other roadblocks arise. Shorter-term benefits can also be powerful in building confidence in and commitment to the digital transformation.

A strategy is an aligned component that provides a clear direction and roadmap for putting the country's vision into practice. The digital strategy must be founded on extensive consultation with stakeholders, giving governments and other partners an effective mandate for whole-of-government and whole-of-society transformations. Where possible, a strategy should be accompanied by a robust and realistic plan for identifying, monitoring, learning from, and evaluating progress, and course-correcting when needed.

Country examples:

Harnessing technological disruption: Smart Nation Singapore

Smart Nation is a whole-of-society initiative that uses digital technology and innovation to improve the lives and livelihoods of Singaporeans and position their country as a global digital leader. This wide-ranging programme encompasses three pillars: digital society, digital economy, and digital government. To put its vision into practice, Singapore established a Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, providing a strong central mandate for the initiative and support from the Prime Minister’s leadership.

As a result, in 2023, Singapore was named Top Asian City in the IMD Smart City Index. Today, 99 % of its government services are digital end-to-end and it has built robust public infrastructure including digital identity and payment mechanisms. The Government of Singapore was deeply committed to the strategy and designed national ICT projects for priority sectors, involving an array of stakeholders to align on key priorities. Chief Information Officers in each government agency assumed responsibility for specific projects, and digital infrastructure was catalysed by the private sector.