Digitising public sector service delivery


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Cloud and mobile-first platforms will give citizens routine access to the very best systems and technology, in an era when they demand nothing less.

There was a time when a telex machine was a bold innovation. A telex network could send a message anywhere in the world, and it only took about 15 minutes per page. But the hardware was slow and clunky, so most telex machines required multiple modifications before working to the user’s standard. When fax machines came along and functioned to a user’s expectations without the need for modifications, telexes landed in the nearest tech museum, and users embraced the prospect of a mod-free future.

The telex story has become a mainstay tech parable — think of how the iPhone reimagined mobility; how digital cameras stole a mature market away from Kodak; or how on-demand video took down Blockbuster. The common denominator was a process of digital transformation that was unimaginable until it happened, grew with lightning speed once it started, and shattered existing business models — building massive new opportunities at every step along the way.

Work experiences for the next generation

With today’s mobile-first mentality, and the shift from on-premises to cloud computing, that transformative moment has now come to public sector services. And it’s just in time: more than ever, today’s public sector managers are looking to recruit and retain the next generation of talent while simultaneously streamlining government operations.

To draw in the next generation of executives, managers, and front-line staff, public sector workplaces will have to match the fast, user-friendly technologies that millennials take for granted in their personal devices, and have come to expect in the workplace. They’ll expect intuitive user interfaces; fast, efficient collaboration between functions and job sites; seamless interfaces across desktop and mobile devices; business intelligence systems that learn on the job and deliver the context-driven information users need, before they know they need it.

Just as the smartphone reimagined the mobility market, it has already begun to influence public sector services in similar ways. Now ubiquitous, smartphones have encouraged online-only experiences, shortened attention spans, and forged new engagement models.

Today’s mobile-enabled, ‘skip-the-queue’ millennial is a common constituent for many cities. Intuitive, mobile-friendly feedback loops are now a basic obligation, and cities need to offer them an unprecedented mix of channels: email, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — customer service has become a very public two-way process. Delivery via all these channels has become an expectation, and anything less is considered antiquated.

Councils face an insistent need to transform. But the next-generation government is a progressive concept upon inception, an obvious transformation once complete, and only achievable with next-generation technology.

Propelling 21st century government

To meet the demands of tomorrow’s community, public sector organisations need a level of system reliability that is most easily assured through cloud-based systems that deliver timely software and security updates. Even more than the shift from telex to fax, cloud computing makes local modifications a thing of the past, saving scarce program funds for better uses and allowing on-premises IT teams to concentrate on more specialised, mission-driven projects.

There are some aspects of public sector service that never change. Streamlining operations and doing more with less are current themes across all levels of government and industry, but they’re entirely familiar for anyone who’s ever had a seat behind a government desk.

Streamlining government operations

The good news is that streamlining systems becomes much easier in the cloud. And nowhere will those enhanced cloud capabilities be more impactful than in front-line service delivery, where tech-savvy citizens are already asking more of their government. From routine call centre operations to emergency services, citizens expect the public sector to deliver timely, efficient, informed, courteous service.

To deliver on that promise, front-line personnel need the support of IT systems that will help them get the job done. It’s hard to imagine an area where front-line delivery will be more crucial than the public sector, where digital transformation will play a key role in helping organisations meet the needs and expectations of an aging and growing population. Their software will need to provide accessibility and wide-ranging functionality to serve citizens of all ages and technological capabilities.

The main game: Generating new value in disruptive environments

No organisation is recognised or remembered for the services they have, but for the services they deliver in times of need. The key for organisations in disruptive environments is to identify the most intelligent services that can be sustainably deployed to meet constituent expectations. To succeed, these organisations will have to make rapid investment decisions that will drive new service delivery in areas of little or no prior knowledge.

Investment decisions in cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, automation, distributed ledger technology, and the Internet of Things will feed digital transformation and smart city developments, providing efficiencies within organisations and aiding customer journeys.

Conduct better business

Compared to telex, fax or even an early mobile phone, today’s IT systems offer speed and capabilities that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. But they’re still a stepping stone to even better, faster service delivery, and that’s where cloud computing earns its keep. Every public sector organisation will make the transition to the cloud in its own time, and in its own way.

But digitally transformed governments can do much more than save time and money. They can pave a way to customer-centric service turnaround, and drive innovations that empower individuals, teams, and departments to make a difference.

Once it’s fully implemented, cloud computing and mobile-first platforms will give citizens routine access to the very best systems and technology, in an era when they demand nothing less.

Partnering with Infor

Infor is built for Australian and New Zealand Councils. Developed for the cloud and mobile-empowered, we put the user experience first, leveraging data science and emerging technology with a focus on integrating into existing systems.

More than 68,000 organisations worldwide rely on Infor to help overcome market disruptions and achieve business-wide digital transformation.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Puripat

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