The Danish Business Authority (DBA)
The Danish Business Authority (DBA), a state administrative unit, is an authority under the Ministry of Business. Founded originally in 1964, the Danish Business Authority (DBA) in its present structure was founded on January 1, 2012 by a merger of the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency with parts of both the Danish Commerce and Construction Agency and IT and Telecom Agency. DBA is financed through the Finance Act. Currently it employs about 650 employees distributed in three different locations in Denmark. The Danish Business Authority’s overall vision is to provide “the best framework for businesses” with the clear mission of making “it simple and attractive to conduct business throughout Denmark” in partnership with others.
Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main stakeholders and beneficiaries include the ministries, the other circa 40 Danish Authorities including for example the tax and the working environment authorities, Danish and international businesses, the Confederation of Danish Industry.
DBA has close cooperation with all its stakeholders including businesses and business organization. DBA has involved them, and still involves them directly or indirectly in all the phases of the digital transformation. Such co-creation activities take multiple forms including co-initiation, co-design, co-implementation, co-delivery, and co-assessment.
Digital Transformation Process
DBA’s digital transformation goes ten year back in time and started in 2009 due to old legacy IT systems that created several problems such as difficulties to implement IT changes to comply with the law changes, problems to meet customer demands concerning digitalisation and inefficient operations. The digital transformation has taken the starting point in both DBA’s customer needs and employees’ knowledge. In 5-6 years, DBA has transformed 14 different registration systems into one IT system. This has several advantages for DBA including digitalisation of data that can be used to improve service provision as well as a decreased amount of resources needed to perform the same tasks.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The results of DBA digital transformation is creation of public value in several forms: economic value, administrative value, democratic value, and citizen value. The democratic value include making life easier for businesses, making the customers happier, stronger companies’ control and potential increased societal wealth. The value for the business includes minimisation of the administrative burden, one stop shop, better services due to quality standards, personalised overview as well as transparency. The administrative value include business self-sufficiency and data sharing. The long-term impact of DBA’s digital transformation includes savings of citizen taxes on public administration tasks and decreased company fraud through increased control.
Challenges & Bottlenecks
In the implementation of the digital transformation, DBA has encountered a number of challenges including financial problems, organisational resistance, collaboration among different authorities, IT systems implementation priority, attitude change.
Transferability & Replicability
DBA’s digital transformation is a best practice example of efficient and effective digital transformation. For a period, DBA has organised in–house meetings during which people from all over Europe came to hear about their digitalisation journey. It is expected that such digital transformation could be replicated in other parts of the Danish public administration if the need and the will is there, since it is the same socio technical conditions that apply. Whether such digital transformation can be replicated in public organisations located in other national contexts depends on the way public administration is organised in such contexts as well as the level of digitalisation of both businesses and society.
An important success factor is that the digital transformation supports The Danish Business Authority to reach its goals “to create predictable and responsible business conditions, in order to make it as easy as possible to run a business in Denmark”.
Embarking and implementing digital transformations is not an easy task that implies many challenges. It requires strong and committed leadership to make them successful.