Having a solid government technology strategy has never been more important. Right now, 88% of counties are gathering citizen feedback on customer experience channels and using it to make improvements. But finding the right insights to inform your planning can be as challenging as the planning itself.
Plante Moran is one of the largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms in the US, serving over 500 public sector clients. With more than 3,100 specialists in audit, tax consulting, and wealth management, Plante Moran has been advising top organizations for over 90 years. At Vision33's recent Virtual Customer Event, Plante Moran's Christopher Blough — Manager of Public Sector Technology & Operations Consulting — delivered a keynote address about strategic technology planning and procurement in today’s public sector.
In this post you’ll learn some of the insights delivered in the presentation, which you can take away to inform your 2021 strategic government technology planning. Keep reading to find out how you can start to develop a strong strategy by considering:
- your systems of engagement;
- your systems of record, and;
- how those systems are integrated with each other (or not).
To hear more from Plante Moran’s Christopher Blough about how the global pandemic is accelerating digital transformation within governments, get access to the on-demand presentation here.
Strategic GovTech Planning: Systems of Engagement
Put simply, your systems of engagement are the systems your agency uses to connect with citizens and other stakeholders. When you’re looking holistically at the technology your organization uses, it’s useful to consider all of these systems. It’s important to take the time to think about points where citizens interact with your government, and ways to improve those touchpoints.
Try asking yourself these questions to determine the current state of your systems of engagement and identify any gaps that need to be addressed:
- How do we reach citizens and customers? Think about the channels of communication that you have with your citizens, customers, service users, stakeholders, and any other key groups. Look for places where communication can be streamlined, updates can be timelier, and feedback can be easily submitted. Your technology should make it easy for you to stay in touch with people — and easy for them to get in touch with you.
- What services do we offer online? If there are services that you’re not offering online, part of your planning process should include looking at ways to migrate those services. Even when it’s not feasible to make an immediate change, it’s useful to understand the functions that would be attractive in a future technology solution. Identifying the specific services that you’d like to bring online means you’ll know what to look for when evaluating options.
- How are we measuring user experience? Whether it’s overall citizen experience with your agency or individual user experiences with specific services, you need to have a way to measure it. Finding the right metrics — specific, measurable, and relevant — is a tricky task. But when you’re working on your government technology strategy, you need to define what success means so you can decide on the best way to reach your user experience goals.
Strategic GovTech Planning: Systems of Record
Systems of record are the systems where your data and information are stored. Think about the different departments, units, or agencies that make up your government. How many different systems of record are being used?
“When we turn to systems of record — where all the information we're capturing from our systems of engagement lives, for our business users to understand and interact and perform the services they deliver — we find in so many cases that multiple versions of truth exist,” remarks Blough.
If a citizen wants to apply for a building permit, for example, they typically need to interact with several departments throughout the application process. To get a complete picture of that application process, governments often need to gather information from many different systems of record. When departments use different systems, sharing records becomes more difficult than it should be — which results in data redundancy, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and overall inefficient service delivery.
“I think the key is that many organizations today need to see themselves as a whole, not as disparate units, in order to be successful,” explains Blough. “As part of our digital transformation, our planning process requires us to take a step back and ask, what specifically are we looking to accomplish?”
Strategic GovTech Planning: Integrating Systems of Record and Engagement
Technology integration is the key to having your systems of record and engagement connected, so that data can flow between them seamlessly in real-time. Rather than relying on spreadsheets to combine and compile information, integrated systems work together to eliminate unnecessary manual tasks. With automated processes and communication between multiple systems, services are delivered in a way that’s more efficient, more transparent, and more aligned with your citizens’ expectations.
“Many organizations struggle at the end of a reporting period to pull their metrics and their staff are working hours upon hours to cleanse and prepare that data for presentation,” says Blough. “In the future, this gathering and presenting of information must be part of the equation in terms of what value should look like. Can we pull metrics out of those systems of engagement and systems of record that produce a complete picture?”
It’s not sustainable to depend on cumbersome manual processes to get the information you need on a regular basis. Disconnected systems drain your time, impact your productivity, and increase your costs of service. Governments today are providing more and more services to a growing population base, and this is a challenge many agencies are facing. To build a strong government technology strategy, it’s vital to find ways of being more productive and effective in how we deliver.
Learn More About Government Technology Leadership and Strategy
If you’re planning your government technology initiatives for 2021, or you will be soon, getting useful information now will ensure you’re prepared to create the best possible strategy.
At Vision33 we have over 100 technology consultants with firsthand government experience and we’ve been a partner on over 55 government technology platform implementations. Our experienced eGovernment team thrives on finding the right-fit solution for any public sector challenge. Watch this on-demand presentation recording to hear more from Plante Moran’s Christopher Blough about the evolution of government technology leadership – and get the expert insights you need to plan a solid digital transformation strategy for your agency.