Digital transformation, by contrast to digital disruption, is a deliberate and concerted effort to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization by way of adopting, evolving and refining digital workflows. Digital transformation efforts must always align with the ultimate purpose of the organization.
Land registries secure the property rights of land and immovables. They ensure their opposability to third parties. Ultimately, land registries, by ensuring the legal reliability of land transaction records, promote the financial stability, public accountability and access to ownership. How should the land registry digital transformation journey be undertaken?
Why do you wish to embark on a digital transformation journey? Perhaps you have read about blockchain technology and want to learn more, or perhaps you are keen on ensuring that your land registry is not missing out on modernization opportunities.
Notarius helped the Quebec land registry go digital 20 years ago. Recently, we are supporting the Alberta land registry do the same. In both cases, it all started with “why”. We recommend that you develop clear answers to why you wish to embark on this journey. Considering the role in society of land registries, good reasons could be, for example:
A strategy is the set of all necessary and sufficient decisions to ensure the success of an endeavor. A good strategy allows the ulterior definition of an action plan which could be a project, a program or a portfolio of projects or programs.
A digital transformation strategy should always be aligned with a Vision. The Vision meaningfully depicts how the future organization is digitally enabled. Meaningfully means being able to tell the story of how people interact with and work in the new organization. Failing a clear Vision, it is not prudent to attempt to define a strategy!
Here are some examples of recommended strategy statements:
Implementing transformation in government and quasi-government environments can benefit from adopting agile development methods and approaches. For example, iterative implementation whereas logical, small incremental steps can be defined and rolled out is almost always a better approach than monolithic, organizational wide deployment in one step.
Notarius has deep expertise in the legal, technology, government and operational aspects of land registry records. Our expertise is very niche – we enable land registries to create, verify and preserve legally reliable digital records. We do not operate outsourced land registries. Also, although we are not an advisory services company, we freely share our expertise and recommendations, without commitment, to land registries who wish to optimize their digital transformation strategy and decisions.
Here are some examples of how the Notarius expertise, solutions and products can help your land registry modernize its operations:
It is never over. While you may think that upon a successful digital transformation journey, you will be able to take another 30 years break before undertaking the next, alas, it is not so. We live in a world constantly accelerating its pace of technology evolution. Facing that propsect, each land registry must decide how best to cope with this rate of evolution.
Notarius recommends to land registries to make a few fundamental technology choices and to stick with those on a longer term basis while simultaneously allowing for ongoing optimization. Amidst the the fundamental technology decisions that we recommend are the following:
Blockchains deserve a special section in this page. Since The Economist published “The trust machine” and “The great chain of being sure about things” on October 31st, 2015, the world has seen an ever accelerating interest in all kinds of blockchain initiatives, including land registry initiatives.
In relation to blockchain, Notarius recommends the following key take-aways for land registries:
Notarius defines “digital records” as a synonym to legally reliable electronic documents. Documents are static sets of fixed information that can be read in a linear fashion by human beings. Documents can also be machine readable.
Human beings develop knowledge experientally, deductively and by learning. Learning often involves reading. When the information that needs reading also needs to be legally reliable, the reader needs to be sure of the origin of the information, its integrity, its authenticity and its longevity.
Socially and legally, the information held by land registries sits at the apex of such reliability requirements. For that reason, Notarius recommends that digital records be used in conjunction with blockchain technology to leverage the best each technology has to offer.
What is needed for an electronic document to be considered legally reliable?
Notarius is ideally positioned to answer this question because we are worldwide leaders in digital signatures and the long-term reliability of electronic documents.
There are four ingredients to document reliability. They are explained below.
Document security must be distinguished from document reliability. Document security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.
Notarius recommends to address confidentiality and availability architecture optimization at the platform and environment levels, not at the document level.