What to Look For in a Meeting Partner: Why Security and Reliability Remain Critical
Digital technology changed the landscape of government services significantly over the last few years. Keeping active access to public meetings was perhaps one of the areas where that impact was felt the strongest. Many councils and boards created solutions that allowed remote viewing live video, maintained access to records, while doing so in a way that made sure that these meetings could not only function but succeed in engaging communities.
The transition from that crisis has shown the long-lasting effects that innovation brings. There will undoubtedly be no return to “business as usual.” But for boards and councils, the adaptation proves to be a positive one. For as the public’s now-expected need for video streaming and increased demand for transparency increases, tools such as Granicus’ govMeetings makes it easy for staff to provide uninterrupted access to information.
The need for a public meeting solution is clear. But what goes into determining the correct partner for a staff when it comes to implementing that solution? Some of the common benefits governments should look for in a public meeting partner, as well as some of the pitfalls of which staff should be aware before starting a partnership, include:
Finding strengths in all of these areas will help create long-term positive relationship with a public meetings software partner.
Security: Always Vital, Always Vigilant
With the rise of digital solutions for government, cybersecurity has grown not just to be a crucial factor in any solution used for government work but perhaps the most critical. When it comes to public meetings and the use of streaming video, sharing governmental documents, agendas, and other important information, security should be at the top of any list for a government organization looking for a public meetings partner.
Data security, and maintaining the certifications and validations that prove a company is doing what’s necessary to keep information safe should be a baseline consideration in any partnership. Granicus partners with 4,200 government agencies to deliver seamless digital experiences for millions of citizens through govMeetings. That responsibility drives Granicus to prioritize security and privacy of data. Therefore, Granicus adheres to best practices set in place by top government security organizations such as the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) and house data centers that meet SOC 1 & SOC (SSAE 16) requirements.
Information is monitored and protected daily because, in short, government data and system security is Granicus’ top priority. Robust and secure data center implementation is a necessity, not an option. Designed for reliability and redundancy, Granicus offers multiple dedicated data centers, where other companies may rely on one data center or shared data centers. As well, Granicus data centers are guided by a “defense-in-depth” security strategy to ensure reliable access of government data. And with a 99.9% uptime, customer data is consistently available.
As a solution purpose-built to serve the high security needs of government users, govMeetings makes sure that data is not only protected, which reduces the likelihood of a data breach, but is redundant, which reduces the costly fees related to data mitigation.
For a successful public meetings partner, security should be more than just a list of features. And, as with transparency, Granicus consistently builds a culture of security not only with their partners, but throughout the organization. That means that the importance of security and training extends beyond the cloud and security team through the entire company.
Four Pillars of Security
Granicus products are built on four pillars of security
Security Operations Center with full-time, around-the-clock, 100% dedicated cybersecurity staff who identify, respond, and react to threats in real-time
Secure Development Lifecycle
Security monitoring integrated into each phase of the development lifecycle; static code analysis to identify and correct flaws before any features are released
Compliance with the highest government (NIST) and international (ISO 27001) standards including protection such as rotating passwords, centralized logging, multi-factor authentication, and more
Continuous vulnerability scanning on all assets; multiple penetration and assessment tests by our own internal security experts and experienced third-party providers
Granicus is certified by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the first government-wide security authorization program mandatory for all agencies and all cloud services, and is trusted for use by such security-critical agencies as the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and Veterans’ Affairs.
When meeting with a potential public meetings partner, make sure that a representative from your organization’s IT department is part of the conversation. This will help make sure that issues related to security and other needs are discussed before a partnership begins.
For more in-depth details of the security features provided in govMeetings, please see the Granicus Security Sheet for govMeetings.
Reliability: The Secret Weapon for Positive User Experiences
A public meetings solution can bring a number of automated processes to help save time and money. It can offer features that make transparency and compliance easier to achieve. And it can provide a rock solid base of security that helps IT departments sleep better at night. But if an organization can’t rely on their public meetings tool to deliver a consistently high-quality and reliable experience, that partnership is doomed for failure.
Many public meetings tools may be looking to adapt to a new environment where resident demands have increased calls for new options to engage with public meetings digitally. Granicus’ govMeetings platform is unique in the ability to consistently offer live video streaming of public meetings, giving staffs the ability to simulcast to multiple streaming platforms, including YouTube.
Unlike other public meetings tools, however, as part of the Granicus platform, govMeetings users can provide indexing that enables citizens to instantly skip to, watch, and share portions of online public meetings that matter most to them. Users can also measure what content citizens demand most, determine its relevance (whether viewers are residents or not), and provide this feedback to the board for a better understanding of citizen interests.
Reliability + Experience = Trust
Experience in the field also gives govMeetings users the trust they need to create reliable meetings for their residents. Trusted by over 2,400 agencies, govMeetings staff works closely with customers to help train staff, as well as provide the support that gives staff the ability to get the most out of this powerful tool.
When considering a public meetings partnership, organizations should determine if they feel that a solution will grow to meet the expanding needs of their staff, board or council, and residents. Uniquely understanding the needs of government organizations has been at the core of Granicus solutions across the entire platform of offerings. From communication to engagement to meetings to providing easier access to government services and resident experiences, the Granicus platform is built to meet, anticipate, and grow with the needs of government users.
The impact of a reliable, agile, and focused public meetings partner can not only drive positive outcomes for public meetings, but establish a blueprint for growth across all services within an organization.
Find out how the reliable and secure govMeetings solution can create positive change in your organization’s public meeting process.