As we've previously stated, most successful digital transformation efforts achieve that status by not just prioritizing modern technology, but doing so in a way that allows them to improve their customer-facing efforts. Digital transformation for government and other public sector organizations doesn't change that - it's still true, albeit from a slightly different angle.
Instead of making improvements to products and services to make the customer experience better, digital transformation for government is focused on using IT to improve the lives of citizens everywhere by making them easier, safer and more secure. In terms of a project's larger over-arching objectives, it truly doesn't get much more important than that.
Innovation Through Automation
One of the biggest trends in terms of digital transformation for government and the public sector in general takes the form of automation - something that not only helps to create more citizen-centric experiences across the board, but that can also free up a significant portion of IT budgets for organizations at the exact same time.
The White House Office of Science and Technology, for example, has long been researching ways to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning into law enforcement agencies across the country. AI can be used to analyze raw data in a much more effective way than humans ever could on their own, making it possible to identify trends and other patterns that may otherwise go undiscovered.
The Internet of Things can make it easier for this information to get out to the officers who need it the most in real-time - whether they're at the station or in the field no longer matters. This in turn gives agencies a better idea of where to focus their efforts (and which of those efforts are most effective in the first place), which ultimately gives us the most important benefit of all: safer communities for all to enjoy.
But the same benefits can be seen in other areas of the public sector, too. Social services organizations have long been using automated call centers and chatbots to essentially make assistance available to the people who need it 24 hours a day, seven days a week - regardless of whether or not a human being is actually available to pick up the phone.
The Power (and Importance) of Data
Along the same lines as the law enforcement example, digital transformation for government is incredibly valuable in terms of improving public programs by using deeply rooted analytics that allow organizations to learn as much as possible into nearly every aspect of their communities.
With the right data sources and analytical tools, government agencies can learn more about everything from housing issues in a particular area to the state of a city's public transportation infrastructure and much more. It's now possible to go beyond the simple numbers that sources like statistics provide and cut right to the heart at the story that oftentimes gets buried underneath. As a result, government organizations are in the best possible position to tear down and rebuild public programs from the ground up, allowing them to operate in a much more efficient way towards meeting the needs and wants of their community members in the first place.
These types of digital platforms can have a positive ripple effect in the best possible way across nearly every touchpoint we have with our local, state and federal governments. Do you have a question about your taxes? Don't bother waiting on hold for over an hour to speak to an IRS representative - use their website's chatbot to get personalized, accurate information about your account and standing. Do you need to renew your driver's license? No need to wait in line at the DMV - you can do everything online.
In the End
Indeed, these types of personal experiences have been singled out as a priority by more than 60% of public service officials in a recent survey. But the fact of the matter is that most - if not all - of this simply isn't possible by continuing to add onto the types of costly legacy systems that the federal government alone still spends a massive amount of money each year trying to preserve.
When a forest is left to grow too wild, a purging fire isn't only inevitable - it's also natural. For small businesses, enterprises and governments alike, it's clear that the modern day equivalent of that purging fire takes the form of digital transformation. Not only does the right transformation (and unique strategy that varies based on the business in question) stand to optimize even the largest business in a way that allows them to be more productive and more cost effective than ever before, it also brings with it the most important benefit of all: improved outcomes on behalf of the people that these organizations have dedicated themselves to serving in the first place.
In our opinion, the digital transformation wave that we're experiencing right now comes not a moment too soon.