Kathleen O’Brien spent 11 years working for iconic shoe brand Nike but these days she is selling the big picture of how digital retail disruption is going to hit governments big and small.

As Industry Principal of Public Sector hybris, a subsidiary of German software juggernaut SAP, she is helping the Department of Human Services with its Digital Transformation Strategy and hybris is beginning to work with other public sector clients such as Auckland Council and Fire and Rescue NSW.

Ms O’Brien says that although Australian government departments and agencies are generally doing a good job engaging digitally with citizens there is a large body of knowledge that can be leveraged from the private sector. In particular, government can learn from how the retail sector has reacted since the massive digital disruption it has seen since the nineties, whether from web browser, Google search, Ebay, PayPal or Kindle.

“Everything transformed by consumers taking the driver’s seat and raising their expectations of how they interacted in the retail world,” Ms O’Brien says.

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This article first appeared in Government News.