This collaborative action research study reports the experiences in developing e-government innovations in early childhood education context in Finland. While e-government is too often understood as transforming paper documents used in public services into electronic mode, the ultimate objective should be to enhance communication and interaction between citizens and public organizations and thus increase the value of public services. This objective cannot be reached without involvement of service professionals in the eGovernment innovation processes. This research introduces a method for involving service professionals in the process of generating and evaluating alternative ways how new technology can be incorporated in service processes. Amit and Zott’s (2001) e-business value creation method was applied to clarify the value of alternative e-government innovations for citizens and for the service organization. The practical result of the study was several business model innovations for the early childhood education. The methodological result was a collaborative method for analyzing and generating business model innovations.
One of the various definitions of a business model “is a method and a set of assumptions that explains how a business creates value and earns profits in a competitive environment“ (Lumpkin & Dess, 2004). In Finland public organizations´ the financing comes from the tax payers, the business model for government should therefore be a method and a set of assumptions that explains how a public organization creates value.
According to Lee, Tan & Trimi (2005) the purpose of e-government is to offer citizens valuable and quality public services and information on the Internet. Although it is possible just to digitize the services for example returning a tax form, the best value from public e-services is gained when different public organizations horizontally integrate their processes in order to provide a “one-stop” e-service point for citizen (Lee et al., 2005).