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Tips for Creating a Digital Transformation in Government Services

In a time when a growing majority of the public has embraced digital tools, the idea of “digital transformation” is making a deeper impact across all levels of government. New technologies are changing expectations of citizen-government interactions, giving the public tools that empower them with increased self-service options from any digital device at any time. The resulting experiences are delighting users, changing their viewpoint on government services, and helping restore their trust in systems and processes.

In the past, governments faced unique challenges when working to adopt new technologies, including legacy systems, limited budgets, and even legislative mandates. Internally, staff members struggle to manage complex cross-department processes while citizens are affected by long wait times and unclear requirements. Many government leaders believed that shifting their services online would require a full rip and replace of their legacy systems and that innovating to provide better, enhanced services would take years to deliver.

Those roadblocks are real, but they don’t have to be the end of the journey.

Understanding Digital Transformation

But what does it actually mean to create a digital transformation within an organization? For many, it’s a transition toward improved digital experiences that delight residents with ease-of-use and intuitive interactions, and time and cost savings for the government staff that support them. A cloud-based system of services helps governments connect the customer experience through transformed end-to-end digital services that are accessible to anyone, at any time, from anywhere.

Providing services through these technologies can see such impacts as:

  1. Increasing community trust in government.
  2. Improving resident satisfaction with online and mobile self-service options.
  3. Reducing walk-in traffic, call center volumes, and processing times with paperless processes.
  4. Better understanding resident needs by using data to guide outreach efforts.
  5. Provide equitable and inclusive access to government information and services.
  6. Eliminate risk and tech debt by consolidating solutions.
  7. Ensure compliance with important jurisdiction legislation.

With digital services becoming the norm in a customer’s daily life, government organizations have reached a point of no return when it comes to digitizing government operations. Residents expect their processes to be available online, in a simple format that allows them to complete their tasks quickly.

Setting the Stage for Digital Transformation

Change management is critical to the success of a digital service transition in any organization, let alone government agencies where process and bureaucracy can keep things well organized but also create frustrating delays if not met with a proper strategy. These key steps can mean the difference between a digital transition that is met with open arms or one that comes together in fits and starts.

Get Executive Buy-in

Make sure that all key stakeholders are educated on your digital transformation objectives every step of the way. Stakeholders should be champions for your project and can help educate their departments or the public about upcoming changes. It’s also important that those with budget ownership fully understand the project and its business case, given their role in approving funds.

Document Needs and Current Processes

Understanding the current situation in an organization and plotting achievable changes that can lead to greater impact are critical for planning an effective transformation strategy.

Early questions to consider include:

  • Which services need to be brought online first?
  • What are the organization’s biggest pain points?
  • Which systems will require integrations?
  • How is the organization currently operating for these services?
  • What does the current customer experience look like?
  • What would the ideal customer experience look like?

With an agreed-upon road map for these topics and others, organizations better position themselves for overall success when it comes to digitally transforming their services.

Create a Strategy for User Experience

Before selecting any implementation solution for the digital transformation plan, organizations must define the ideal customer journey. Software is only a tool, but understanding how to best create the experience through that tool is where the true impact of digital transformation can be found. Strategists such as those with the Granicus Experience Group (GXG) can serve as an extension of an organization’s team and offer a fresh perspective. Tech pros can help you think through what a service transaction looks like through the eyes of the user, helping drive adoption of a new solution and building more successful digital services in this transition.

Seeing the Impact of Digital Transformation on Government Services

Developing a well-planned Service Cloud experience can create impacts that both improve an organization’s ability to achieve its goals in serving the public and help improve the relationship between the public and government.

Convenient, self-service digital experiences empower users and help increase the level of trust felt when dealing with government services.

Keeping these three key ideas in mind will help government organizations best position themselves for the greatest success in making positive impact:

  • Start Small, Grow Incrementally: While it is important to have a vision of an overall completed goal or change in experience, the amount of change required to achieve that goal may be overwhelming and impact the speed at which transformation occurs. Instead, start small and build toward goals by focusing on one piece at a time.
  • Find a Flexible Technology Partner: Organizations need highly configurable tools purpose-built for the public sector to take a focused outcome strategy to long-term growth success. A solution that grows and changes as needs develop will save both time and money when working to achieve organizational goals.
  • Stay Agile: Transforming digital services into meaningful and equitable connections requires the ability to streamline workflows, leverage data insights, and personalize outreach for long-term impact. Developing those processes and information into inclusive government services requires agility in staff thinking and the tools to create digital experiences that will delight residents with easy access to information and services 24/7 based around their personal preferences.

Embracing the New Normal

While some may consider the uptick in digital government services a result of adapting to meet the needs of reduced in-person interactions during a time of global health crisis, there are no signs that either the public or government staff desire a return to outdated processes and slow services. Digitally transforming government services to better serve the public is no longer optional, but a necessity to better serve a public that lives an increasingly digital life.

Organizations embracing this change create experiences that reduce frustration from both staff and the public, optimize digital service deployment, and enable self-service for users from any device.

Learn more about how to make the move toward digital transformation of public services in this downloadable guide.