From revolution to recovery: How digital adoption is leading the way out of disruption ​

August 4, 2020 By Bob Benstead

While the daily operations of government have changed – maybe permanently – long-term expectations of service have not. As municipalities work to keep the water running, the traffic signals lit, and roads repaired and safe, governments are realizing how important technology is in maintaining continuity and public trust.

In a recent Best Practices Guide, Ensuring Community Business Continuity in Times of Disruption in State and Local Governments we look at how digital adoption acceleration plays a key role in sustaining, and more importantly, enhancing, key services.

Prior to the pandemic, constituents were already expecting more virtual, online, self-service processes in everything from annual license plate renewal to local billing and tax payments. Now, that disruption has dictated more urgency, as organizations rethink the way they offer services on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis.

With many governments already having IT systems and networks in place, and citizens and staff connected 24/7 through smart devices and IoT, the foundation is in place for further operational innovation. While keeping in mind tight and shrinking budgets, it’s a good time to look at systems and evaluate the people, processes, and technologies in place, and their potential in helping face current and future challenges, including:

  • Creating consistencies across systems and opportunities to bring in off-the-shelf software to fill gaps or streamline processes.
  • Staffing culture. There’s never been a better time to embrace mobility in engaging staff, especially those recently dispatched to work remotely. While this allows more safe social distancing between employees, mobility can also bring staff together in a virtual more closely connect them digitally.
  • Existing buildings and future facility plans. Are they still necessary?
  • Supplies, equipment, and vehicles. How do you ensure priority equipment is running, and available in a time of tightening budgets?
  • Constituent communications. Does the agility exist for instant, push notifications regarding service interruptions and delays?
  • Digital data security. Forbes has recently reported that 90 percent of digital data has been generated in the last two years. How do you manage that and keep it safe?
  • Data. Data. And Data. Do managers and staff have access to all relevant, real-time information, and appropriate analytic tools to ensure optimum decision making and support?

Creating a cross-functional, fully-connected system is made easier and more efficient through cloud-based tools. Look to the US federal government, which has already saved more than $3.6 billion by consolidating data centers and shifting to the cloud, according to AmericanCityandCounty.com. This is important both short-and long-term, with savings achieved through lower total cost of ownership, security in the face of unrelenting hacking attempts, and emergency preparedness with crucial systems offsite.

For other ways technology can help governments power through disruptions we invite you to download the Guide Ensuring Community Business Continuity in Times of Disruption in State and Local Governments.

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