Digital transformation is forcing governments on a federal, provincial/state, and local level to re-think how they manage their operations and provide services to their community. In the same way that consumer expectations for speed and availability have shaped social, mobile, and cloud computing in the private sector, the demand for digital in the public sector is slowly, but surely, following suit.
While there has been quite a lot of progress made by many governments around the world, from electric mailboxes for every citizen in Norway to Boston’s CityScore initiative that shows the health of a city, there are still more hoops left to jump through. With a need to serve a wide range of users and a complex network of stakeholders, partners, and clients, every public agency faces a unique set of challenges in acquiring, implementing, and using digital tools and technologies.
If you have ever worked in the public sector, some of these struggles will ring a bell:
- A complex network of different agencies
- Tighter budgets and constraints
- IT and technology landscape dictated by a shared services group
- Legacy processes, policies, regulatory models and IT systems in place
- Rules and regulations around staffing
- Disclosure of data and public information rules
- General distrust around data security and privacy
- Limited capability to recruit, retain and harness top digital talent
Because of these challenges, public sector projects are statistically higher prone to going off-budget, out of scope, and missing their timelines. One of the root causes of a bottleneck in the digital transformation of the public sector is disparate technology. When you have multiple teams using different applications to manage their processes, and none of those systems communicate, you don’t have the infrastructure in place to allow for innovation or flexibility. While this can present a barrier for some, it really shows that the way forward is through a single technology solution that connects these standalone processes and enhances decision making and overall efficiencies, leaving more budget.
Digital Technology in the Public Sector
With an integrated technology platform across an entire operation, the public sector will be more equipped to invest in and implement new digital technologies that save time, money and resources. As a global systems integration partner, we have worked with many public agencies and have seen the results ourselves.
A recent state and local government client came to us looking to improve their ability to budget and reporting for their financial department. They were managing a multibillion-dollar budget with ad hoc spreadsheets and an over a multi-member team trying to track, edit, and share spreadsheets. Recognizing that there was a more efficient and accurate way to create and use budgets, we transformed them onto a cloud platform built on Azure – Microsoft Dynamics 365. This approach has allowed the client to replace their legacy applications and the gamut of spreadsheets with one single application for budgets, approvals, and workflows. In the big picture, this cloud solution has helped streamline budgeting processes; enhanced productivity with a single application and central data depository; and given them a platform where they can leverage other capabilities that Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides, including case management and an online web portal.
With a single solution in place, this client significantly reduces the strain of the budgeting process, while improving the overall accuracy and value of the budgets they create.
OnActuate’s Public sector suite provides enhancements that complement Microsoft Dynamics 365 and enriches the functionality with features like CAFR solution, budget enhancements etc.
In the public sector, digital transformation can be achieved through integrated technology that provides a uniform environment; a seamless, end-to-end customer experience; and the functionality to execute enterprise-wide data management.
Here are some examples where digital technology is helping improve efficiencies and better serve the community:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Utility companies are investing in IoT smart meters to track usage better, improve billing accuracy, and ultimately, save energy! They are also integrating that data into online systems, to serve customers better and collect payment sooner.
- Web Portals
The DMV is bringing all programs and services online to simplify and improve the customer experience
Simplified data collection, real-time analytics, and performance reporting are helping governments at every level identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement
- Mobile Apps
Enterprise-oriented mobile apps for public libraries, parks, and recreation are helping deliver public information quickly and improve community engagement
- Data Security
Highly secure cloud platforms, like Microsoft Azure, are used to backup and protect citizen data and IT infrastructure.
At OnActuate, we believe that digital transformation is the way forward for the public sector. With one connected technology solution, government and public agencies around the world will have a more cost-effective and flexible infrastructure to drive process efficiencies and deliver better customer experiences.
With a deep understanding of the IT challenges facing the public sector today, we know how to navigate around the red tape to uncover the true value of digital technology and deliver it to the public sector. We know how to demonstrate the return and generate confidence in the project, so stakeholder buy-in becomes less of a burden. For a free consultation, please fill out your information below and tell us about your department and current IT issues.