The contribution of digital technologies and data to societal change
This chapter explores the origins of digital government as a concept and proposes a working definition for digital government to date. As digital government existed as a phenomenon before the concept was adopted, the chapter provides a short historical overview of government computing prior to the adoption of the Internet. Digital government is positioned in close connection and interaction with two other major societal domains: the digital economy and the digital society. The chapter discusses two dominant focus areas in digital government, namely the ‘digital’ aspects of digital government and the ‘government’ aspects of digital government. These two focus areas are often separated from each other in scholarly work: in this book a combined and comprehensive perspective is used in order to better explore digital government as a socio-technical phenomenon, and several complexities around digital government are identified. The chapter discusses the need for a multidisciplinary approach towards digital government and its relationships with citizens in order to more fully understand and explain this complex socio-technical phenomenon.