Digital Innovation Approach for Public Sector in 2017

‘Digital’ Challenge is the new opportunity for Innovation!

Innovation and Digital — are the two words to swear by in this era. Every facet of our life seems to be digitised, bringing the world to fingertips. People are highly used to, or rather, addicted to the convenience offered by the modern world using the Internet, mobile applications and smart gadgets.

While on one side, private sector and individuals have been rushing and happily espousing this digital boom, we are yet to come across such steps in the public sector. There have been few noteworthy examples of the local councils resorting to digital transformation, yet the effect is to be seen on a larger scale.

Public sector organisations still hooked to the old methods of processing their work using paper-based manual methods, a nominal electronic software and/or complex in-house software are lagging far behind considered to the technological advancement. Or simply put, they are unnecessarily losing out to the benefits offered by the world of cloud and the internet. Since every nook and corner of the world is making itself digital-ready, citizen expectations are highly increasing from the local government and councils to make their processes easy and transparent.

It is inevitable to become networked and digital-driven in this economic austerity. The need to be efficient and generate revenues is mandatory. Above that, citizen demands have to be considered as the ultimate commands. The efforts are to be made not to reinvent the wheel but amalgamating the existing processes with the new platform. Lining up seven essential thoughts to help the councils decide and plan their BIG move-

  1. Balance the Technology Considerations
    The first step is always difficult, but it is often the deciding factor to what results one may expect. According to the currents, it is observed that a majority of the councils and even central government authorities prefer cloud solutions over installed software and specialised hardware. The reasons for this trust are quite obvious as cloud solutions save the councils from spending anything extra on hardware, IT recruits, licences, security, and infrastructure renovations.
  2. Effortless Administration for Effciency
    A part of the council workforce is involved in service management requiring their teams to visit different locations to fulfil the requests and fix the complaints. In doing so, they need to address many challenges and rise above them. Even for the executives managing the administration in the back-office, service desk platform gets the ball rolling for one and all. It is the ideal way to replace the outdated systems that make councils dependent on a certain employee for work, paper and files, and cause a chaos if anything goes missing.
  3. Embrace Automation and Reduce Costs
    It is a no brainer to adopt the solutions to simplify and automate the business processes. On the other hand, it is equally crucial to understand the actual requirements, economic feasibility, user behaviour, desired features and the interest of stakeholders in common. With the efforts being made to help the councils embrace technology, there has been a significant rise in the solutions offering high-level competencies. The main agenda here is- if the councils are spending a specific amount of money for technology, it should yield an expected ROI (return-on-investment) to balance the overall expenditure.
  4. Focus on Citizen Relationship Management
    Regulating citizen interactions and handling their incoming calls via different channels should be well-defined, sorted, and managed in an accurate manner. Citizen relationship management strategies should be merged in a way that pleases them and raises the bar of productivity for your employees. Their voice should be heard, answered and acted upon in a timely manner. Furthermore, knowledge embedded systems help to train the new employees and make them skilled to answering the user queries in no time. The council need not employ extra people to provide training, keep a watch, attend a bulk of calls and fix the problems.
  5. Mobile is a Must-have
    A channel-shift transformation has been experienced which is positively inclined towards mobile. From daily routine work to shopping necessities and luxury items to all other services, there is a mobile application for everything. Since every person now prefers mobile usage over anything else, no organisation can deny its importance. Mobile applications are widely accepted to carry out work and communicate; considering the ease, access and features it provides to the end- users in a hassle free manner.
  6. Build an Independent Community 
    Citizens and councils are connected in an inseparable chain. It is important for the authorities to create a community of people making them capable, independent and empowered with technology. A line of communication has to be established with the robust idea to hear them, help them and serve them. The digital platform offers the self-service capabilities via online channels and mobile applications.
  7. Integrate and Understand Data
    Information access to, and sharing between the councils, customers and third-party organisations strike the right chord in a secured manner. Techniques like master data management are tailored to reorganise and integrate silos of data in a seamless way. It acts as a common point of reference to consolidate data from different sources and maintain consistency. High volumes of information gathered over years can be analysed to make future decisions.

The new-age cloud platform and mobile solutions are the tools to change the game for the councils. In essence, this digital transformation is aimed to restructure the council-citizen relationships with effective communication and amalgamate operations and data on a unified platform.

Councils need to evaluate their needs and explore the specialised IT solutions dedicated to the public sector. They should target to provide self-help to the citizens and streamline the office and field work as well. Eyeing on this digital opportunity opens a door to limitless opportunities to address the needs of the society.

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