We now have the world at our fingertips — thanks to digital platforms. We can now hail a ride with Lyft, pay friends back through Venmo, have groceries delivered by Amazon, and find answers to pressing questions on Google. These platforms have created a remarkable interconnectedness with most digital services and functions people experience each day. As more users flock to these platforms, companies gather more data to improve style and functionality, better anticipate needs, and create more targeted and personalized experiences. This shift in consumer-focused application experiences is rapidly driving new expectations with government technology.
Constituents expect access to user-friendly platforms in every aspect of their life.
Because applications used by the public sector touch so many aspects of people’s lives, the impact of engaging with older, disconnected systems can often include mass-scale frustration. Constituents expect access to user-friendly platforms in every aspect of their life. This puts pressure on government technology to keep up with innovative consumer experiences typical in the private sector. Now that consumers can order groceries, conduct financial transactions, and even receive medical evaluations online, they want the government to provide a similar level of services. Notably, trust in government increases when digital experiences meet their expectations.
The current digital environment has underscored the importance of engagement — and how governments interact with their constituents. They must accelerate digital transformation with the latest scalable technologies to provide long-term benefits. These are three key areas where government technology can transform experiences for its workers and citizens:
1. Constituent and customer experience
Using digital solutions that are responsive and easy to navigate is critical in providing accurate, timely, and trusted government services.
Paper-based processes are slow, allow for significant duplication and room for errors, and may involve more steps than necessary. In-person services can offer an engagement premium but are difficult to scale across every service capability. Using digital solutions that are responsive and easy to navigate is critical in providing accurate, timely, and trusted government services. Delivering personalized, targeted, and customer-focused experiences helps increase trust and satisfaction. For example, the grant management process can transform from cumbersome and paper-based to a seamless, dynamic digital experience. This reduces the administrative burden on both constituents and customers across the grants lifecycle of tasks. For instance, applicants only need to fill out relevant information once, translating it across multiple grant applications.
Reimagining service engagement through a customer-first lens can offer constituents the ease and simplicity they are used to from private sector services. Not only will this improve their overall experience, but it will build trust in knowing the government can deliver customer-centric experiences.
2. Collaboration, communication, and coordination
When it comes to collaboration, digital transformation is more than just keeping team members connected — it also includes creating a transparent partnership between organizations, their employees, and their stakeholders.
Public sector leaders can enable secure peer-to-peer support and information sharing by using a digital HQ.
Today’s work-from-anywhere world requires a digital headquarters (HQ) — a place that connects teams, tools, customers, and partners across time zones and physical spaces. Public sector leaders can enable secure peer-to-peer support and information sharing by using a digital HQ. Functional teams can more easily communicate if questions, requests, or problems surface and identify the best path to resolution quickly and with less burden. It also paves the way for increased participation by customer and employee stakeholders and identifying the best service outcome together.
This type of digital transformation is especially critical for public sector organizations that deliver programs where collaboration is key, such as grant management or social services. Creating a portal as a collaboration platform where citizens can log in and engage in real-time updates helps to deliver faster reviews or faster disbursement of funds.
3. Data-driven decision-making
Public sector organizations have great potential to use rich data to help them make decisions — but they must solve several data-related challenges. The data must be complete, accurate, and dynamic. Additionally, data must be accessed from disparate data sources and in real-time.
Public sector organizations can use technology to identify patterns and use visualizations to reveal insights.
Public sector organizations can use technology to identify patterns and use visualizations to reveal insights. Behind the scenes, these solutions aggregate data across programs, services, or records, using capabilities like business analytics and machine learning to surface actionable insights to agency leaders or enable employees to make personalized and real-time informed decisions to support their customers.
The most critical currency within the public sector is trust. If you envision trust as a coin, one side spells “transparency,” and the other spells “accountability.” Given the maturity of information technologies, government agencies should leverage the power of software tools with built-in automation to build that required trust quickly — while also meeting their respective missions.
Kicking off the next phase of your digital transformation can be a considerable task for any organization. That said, innovation presents an incredible opportunity for the public sector to reimagine the delivery of its mission.