How CRM Can Help Bring Government Technology Into the 21st Century

When it comes to government, there are perhaps no jokes that are more common than those to do with efficiency. And while some of those jokes may be unfair or exaggerated, when it comes to government technology there is definitely some room for improvement. Obsolete legacy IT systems currently pervade much of the government, rendering a lot of data inaccessible, and of the $89 billion in government technology spending planned for fiscal year 2017, over 70% is set to be spent on operating and maintaining existing IT systems.

Clearly a change is needed, and the best way forward is to replace legacy systems with new, more efficient technology. Many government agencies are already doing this, following the lead of many top businesses by adopting platforms that utilize cloud technology, specifically CRM (customer relationship management) systems.

Federal agencies spent over $2 billion on cloud computing services out of a total of $80 billion in IT spending in FY 2016. So, while cloud adoption is happening, it is still just a small fraction of the overall government technology spending, meaning there is a long way to go in making the switch. In fact, one of the main benefits of adopting cloud-based systems is how it can help reduce costs in infrastructure, data storage, maintenance, and security.

CRM platforms offer benefits beyond these ones, however; they also contribute greatly to the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall smooth running of government agencies. Here are just a few of the areas in which CRM platforms can affect the running of a government agency.

Automation Helps Government Employees Focus on the Most Important Tasks

Automation was once viewed with a certain amount of trepidation, and for some people it still is. Often this came from a perceived risk to the jobs of regular people, who could find their positions redundant, themselves replaced by “robots.” However, automation is actually one of the best ways to increase efficiency and even help workers to better fill their responsibilities. Consider that less that 5% of all occupations can be automated entirely, but that 60% of all occupations have at least 30% technically automatable activities.
The government, like many businesses, can benefit greatly from automating where possible. When technology like a cloud CRM platform is used to take care of certain organizational tasks, employees in the public sector are able to not only focus their energy on more important tasks, but receive relevant information through data-driven insights and various tools that will help them to carry out those tasks much more effectively.

Government Contractors Can Improve Win Rates

Another area where CRM is effective is in securing government contracts. Government contracts can be an excellent way to secure dependable income, boost your portfolio, and increase a company’s overall value, but without any help the procurement process can be lengthy. In fact, 72% of government contractors state that the long government procurement cycle is their top challenge, yet currently, over 65% of government contractors perform capture activities without technology support.
With the help of a CRM platform and an app like GovCon Capture businesses are able to get a leg up on the competition through automated processes and workflows, greater visibility, and ensured compliance.

Citizen Engagement Becomes Easier and More Accessible

Although it may go without saying, the main goal of customer relationship management is to manage a business’ relationship with its customers. In a government setting, the same principles are easily applied, but the customers in question are all citizens of a city, state, or the country. As such, CRM platforms are incredibly useful in helping government agencies to connect with their citizens.

They do this in a number of ways. More citizens are looking for self service portals and utility apps — such as 311 apps or traffic apps — that help them connect to their local and state governments with questions and requests. Furthermore, CRM platforms help agencies to quickly and easily create and customize their own apps, allowing for fully personalized citizen portals.

Aside from self service portals, government agencies can also use CRM platforms to better serve citizens using case management tools. These kinds of tools will allow employees to resolve cases faster through automatic categorization and instant access to relevant information. Once again, analytics provide smart insights that also help to solve problems before they arise.

CRM Tools Help Recruit and Retain the Best Employees

There are also a number of ways in which these kinds of cloud based platforms can aid government agencies internally. First, when it comes to hiring and workforce development, there are apps that act as self service portals for both hiring managers and job seekers, allowing them to create and track applications and applicants, and even present offers and make hires. Onboarding and training is also easier through customizable training programs and applications.

Furthermore, as high employee retention rates are incredibly important to any organization, there are a number of engagement tools and productivity tools that can be accessed with a cloud-based CRM platform. Managers are able to communicate with employees, update schedules in real time, and automatically assign tasks or cases.

One of the best CRM platforms to achieve each of these outcomes is Salesforce. No platform more effectively allows government agencies to connect with customers in the public sector, and place citizens at the center of their operations than the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Salesforce solutions all work together in each of the aforementioned areas to create an experience that is ultimately citizen-centric, as it should be.

Government efficiency may be something that people like to joke about, but with the right tools, government agencies can function as smoothly as the most successful businesses. By replacing outdated government technology with the newest solutions, government agencies will be able to focus less on menial tasks and more on what matters most — improving the community.

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