Success Factors and Barriers of GovTech Ecosystems

A case study of GovTech ecosystems in the Netherlands and Lithuania

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GovTech, an acronym of Government Technologies, is a novel concept that is gaining attention in the public and private sector. It entails improving the design and delivery of human centric public services and data-driven processes with the use of emerging (digital) technologies. Furthermore, GovTech is concerned with the development of digital technologies that are used in these processes or services, but that are often developed by organizations outside the public sector. As a result, GovTech ecosystems emerge, in which public and private organizations as well as civic partners, including citizens, collaborate. GovTech ecosystems can be defined as networks of citizens, public and private actors, academia, and (venture) capital involved in the development of technological solutions to address public challenges. At this moment, literature on GovTech is still scarce and empirical studies into the emergence and impact of GovTech ecosystems are even scarcer. Therefore, this study explores the emergence and development of GovTech ecosystems. More specifically, the goal of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the barriers and success factors for the emergence of GovTech ecosystems. To do so, this paper conducts an explorative case study of success factors and barriers of GovTech ecosystems in two frontrunner countries: the Netherlands and Lithuania. Regarding the emergence of GovTech ecosystems, we find that the way in which the two GovTech ecosystems emerged and are built up, differs. Whereas the ecosystem in Lithuania is more centralized, the ecosystem in the Netherlands is more scattered. In addition, we find that factors that contribute to successful GovTech ecosystems include public-private collaborations, having a clear vision and strategy, sufficient space for experimentation, having infrastructure, networks and initiatives in place that stimulate sharing of knowledge and resources, and the presence of a culture of co-creation and innovation.