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Digital Transformation & e-Government: Connect Public Services & Citizens

Connecting Public Services and Citizens

Achieving digital transformation is key for the public sector in today’s climate. Find out how it can connect public services and citizens.

The world we live in today is a new one, and we need to work out how to adapt processes, systems, and services to that new world.

Public sector organisations need to adapt to the digital ‘new normal’ to give citizens what they want. Building and maintaining trust is essential in public services. Connecting with citizens in a transparent, convenient, and frictionless way is key to achieving that trust.

Just like the private sector, the public sector faced dramatic changes during the pandemic. Familiar routines changed, and digital services became more important than ever. As well as meeting citizens’ heightened expectations, there were new employee needs to consider. Things like flexible working became new must-haves.

One of the sector’s greatest challenges was a lack of connection between systems. Legacy systems, siloed services, and lack of consistency around data in certain departments were obvious issues. According to the UK National Audit Office (NAO), the public sector doesn’t have the same business operational focus that the private sector does. This has led to a lack of understanding of digital and data strategies in government leadership.

Scalable, digital public services

We’re settling into a new world with new ways of working. Public sector organisations have a unique opportunity to embrace change. But there are unique challenges to face to avoid falling back into old habits and processes. To better serve citizens, public sector organisations have to take action to overcome those challenges.

Getting the right balance

It’s a tricky balance for public sector organisations. They are expected to provide excellent citizen services while providing value to the taxpayer. To balance the best possible service within budget constraints and taxpayer scrutiny.

It’s not always easy, is it?

Trying to get the balance right and please citizens, stakeholders, and partners is so important. Public sector organisations need to streamline processes, increase efficiency, encourage innovation and have a long-term vision of success.

It’s worth looking at the long-term value of any investment. Investing in small, basic, custom solutions might seem the best option for solving immediate problems. But this would no doubt end up more costly as you need to keep adding more and more custom solutions to ‘fill the gaps’. Searching for and investing in the most effective long-term solution would offer much more ROI, therefore ending up much more cost-effective.

Meeting heightened expectations

As the world was forced to change during the global health crisis, the public is used to digital service delivery and expects great digital customer service regardless of whether they are dealing with the public or private sector

Unique technical challenges

In the public sector, there are many outdated legacy systems. Not only does this raise issues in the money it costs to maintain and update, it usually means difficulty in providing a joined-up service and responding to challenges.

Using old, ineffective, costly, and time-consuming technology can mean poor service delivery to citizens. And not only that, it’s more of a strain on finances. Public sector organisations cannot continue with the same in-house systems for those reasons. Systems need to be future-proof, agile, and with low maintenance costs. Investing in innovation and using low-code/no-code cloud platforms can help achieve this.

Digital transformation helps the public sector face these challenges

Public sector organisations are facing an urgent battle to make sure they’re keeping up with the digital needs of citizens. They need to aim for the following:

  • Rapidly adapt to changes and challenges.
  • Future-proof services and processes.
  • Ensure a 360-degree view of customers, suppliers, partners, and stakeholders.
  • An organisational ability to drive innovation.

During times like these, it’s essential to focus on values crucial in helping you connect with citizens. Salesforce shares many of the same values as the public sector, such as:

TrustTrust in the public sector has always been an important issue, and even more so since the pandemic. After the upheaval everyone faced, citizens need to know they can rely on public services. Security and data storage are also essential for building trust.

Customer Service – The acceleration of digital transformation has also heightened customer expectations. Citizens are looking increasingly for public sector organisations to exceed, not just meet, those expectations.

Innovation – Innovative, modern technology should be high on every public sector organisation’s agenda. More innovation and cross-agency collaboration are needed. We can’t underestimate the importance of digital transformation as a necessity in a post-COVID world.

Employee Care – Focusing on the needs of citizens is essential for public services to advance into the new, all-digital world. But we also need to make sure we serve the needs of employees. After the disruption to work caused by the pandemic, employers need to focus on the here and now. It’s vital to transform employee engagement and continue to empower them to make a difference in citizens’ lives.

Sustainability – public administration should focus to get a net-zero emission across the full value chain and 100% renewable energy for operations. Salesforce adds Sustainability a 5th core value.

Upskilling and reskilling public sector employees

As part of the ongoing need for digital transformation, upskilling and reskilling are essential factors in the future of work. Resistance to change can be a huge barrier to success in public sector organisations, so it’s important to get the buy-in of employees.

As a core pillar of digital transformation, there are multiple benefits to both the employer and the employees. By communicating those benefits, and maintaining strong communication throughout the process, you’re more likely to see success.

Employee benefits such as:

  • Increased confidence in their role
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Broader skill-set leading to more opportunities for career development

Employer benefits such as:

  • A more innovative workforce
  • Increased loyalty and employee retention
  • Cost-savings.

Connecting the public sector with all citizens

One of the most important values for both Salesforce and public sector organisations is equality for all. Equality is more and more important in the public eye today. It’s a crucial value for every organisation, whether the public or private sector. And every organisation should be taking steps towards achieving it.

The public sector can (and should) be a powerful driver for change and is often on the frontline when it comes to leading the way. Organisations must consider the needs of every citizen from all different groups. Particularly when they’re building their processes and systems. There are many EU directives relating to equality. And individual countries have their own specific laws and policies for equal opportunities.

Digital transformation as the road to success

Using technology to speed up digital transformation is vital for public sector organisations. Getting a comprehensive 360-degree view of their customers, citizens, service users, and partners is key. All areas of the organisation, including marketing, commerce and service, need to have the same view. Why? To offer a connected citizen experience, something that’s essential in bringing the public sector and citizens together.

Find out how Salesforce can help organisations like yours tackle current challenges and prepare for the future.

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