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Trend Report 2024:
Germany on its path to
digital administration -
an update




Behörden Spiegel

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When the digitalisation of public offices in Germany is discussed, the perceptions are mostly negative. Why is it still not possible to do “it” online? Why do I have to go in person to renew my driving licence? And why is it still only an analogue plastic card? The overall impression is that although things are moving forward they are not doing so fast enough.

In this context, Prognos and the Behörden Spiegel ask the question in the Digital State Trend Report 2024: Where does Germany stand on its path towards digitalisation? Our author team draw conclusions in various areas and formulate recommendations to drive forward the digitalisation process in public offices in the coming years. The Trend Report was published to coincide with the “Digital State” congress.

Administration digitalisation

Digital administrations are characterised by what citizens see (front end: user-friendly and digitally available administration services) as well as what they don’t: the back end. To this end, there are organisation structures, processes within an administration service and interfaces with other public authorities. For comprehensive digitalisation, all public administration offices – from Federal to regional, right down to local municipal level – will have to operate digitally from front end on the user side, as well as at the back end.

For the 2024 Trend Report we identified four key topics:

  • Technology & Innovation as the base: Technological implementation capacity and innovation are starting points for the digital transformation.
  • Personnel are the motor for implementation: The competence requirements of personnel and expectations of public employers are driven by demographic change and digitalisation.
  • Organisation as a structural feature: Digitalisation makes new demands on organisation, but also opens up new opportunities for collaboration.
  • Leadership and guidance as a driver: The digital transformation demands a clear compass and capacity for change.

A collective target vision for the digital state

The 2024 Trend Report formulates the following recommendations for action:

  • In the Federal system, level-overarching collective target visions and respective accountability need to be created and implemented. A willingness to compromise when it comes to moving away from the previous paths of Federal, State, and local authorities is an important prerequisite for this.
  • Digitalisation does not mean digitally rebuilding a world identical to the analogue one. The central question: What do citizens stand to gain from digitalisation?
  • Public authorities not only need to be digitalised using technical methods, but require a more general modernisation in terms of their organisation structures, personnel competences and understanding of leadership.

Our approach

The 2018 Trend Report outlined what public authorities would look like in the year 2030. The Digital State Trend Report 2024 draws half-time conclusions: Where does Germany stand on its path to digital administration? In 15 field-specific discussions with experts from politics, administration and science we discussed the status quo of the public authorities in the areas of technology, personnel, organisation and leadership as well as recommendations for action for the ongoing road towards digital administration.

Links and downloads

TRENDREPORT 2024 (PDF in German)


Project team: Shayan Beland, Dr Henner Kropp

Last update: 12.03.2024

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Dr. Henner Kropp

Project Manager

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Shayan Beland


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