IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Government needs content services aligned for better customer experience
Fri, 29th Jul 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Organisations across all industries in the private sector have recently made significant progress in their digital transformation efforts. This includes streamlining business processes, improving customer experiences with modern mobile applications and progressive web apps, and integrating legacy platforms to extend their lifespans.

The public sector, however, has not always kept up with the pace of innovation.

The current health and economic crises have exacerbated these challenges, and many government agencies, local councils and supporting agencies are finding the need to evolve and improve customer experience. COVID-19 has pressured agencies to provide health updates and services, often prioritising these over other more standard matters. The need to respond to public interests has become paramount, and agencies require fast, efficient ways to make this happen. This situation is driving a renewed focus on digital transformation as government organisations look for ways to adapt and keep up with the pace of change.

Furthermore, the same motivations driving the private sector to transform and optimise enterprise systems are also the same for the government sector. For example, customer experience is a major driving force behind digital transformation initiatives and bringing better services to people across all levels of government - federal, state and local - is very much a priority, with or without a global pandemic thrown into the mix.

New communications and services

Clear, consistent messaging and communication are of great importance to local governments. New services are required, such as visitor registers, mental health check-ins and community updates. For this reason, agencies need to respond quickly and efficiently and bring these services online much faster than has traditionally been the case.

Information sits right at the heart of digital transformation, whether in the form of documentation, customer records, data collected from social media, images or almost anything else found in a modern agency. Organising that content, making it available wherever it is needed, and generally providing a holistic, 360-degree view of all information is essential to modernising.

Automation and low-code solutions

Further to this, improving back-office processes will have a profound and positive effect on customers down the line when services and interfaces work fast and efficiently. Solutions such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Capture can speed up repetitive manual tasks, making them more accurate and efficient. The final piece of the puzzle lies with customising solutions, tying systems together and providing a unified digital experience. Low-code solutions are very useful for this, providing a fast and relatively easy means of ‘bridging' between legacy and modern systems.

Customisation of solutions allows the agency to assess exactly what they require from their architecture and how to get the most out of it for their specific purposes. Low-code development moves this decision-making and development process closer to the individual department, allowing for a more hands-on design and build process.

Using low-code solutions negates the need to involve higher-level developers, making the process faster and empowering those within the department to play a more active role in designing the systems they need. This reduces the time taken to plan and design an application or tie systems together, as there is less reliance on external and third-party resources and the need to explain and conceptualise to those external sources.

By updating enterprise services, tying dissolute systems together and making information flow more freely, the government or council agency is essentially ‘polishing' the user experience – both inside the department itself and at those all-important customer touchpoints. Increasing collaboration between council employees will also have a bearing on customer satisfaction, with greater information-sharing and access to workflows leading ultimately to better cooperation.

This will become especially important as the world adapts to new workplace conditions. With a high proportion of employees now requesting a hybrid working arrangement, councils and government agencies are likely to experience some level of disruption. It is essential to equip the workforce with all applications and information regardless of their whereabouts. They will need content delivered to them quickly, seamlessly and securely in order to maintain the high standards expected by constituents.

A complete view of an agency's content is therefore of paramount importance. A broader range of files, images and other content – in the form of structured and unstructured data – will go a long way towards improving internal communication and equipping staff to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.

Security of data

Secure delivery of that content is also imperative. Cloud-based content is secured at the data centre level with enterprise-grade systems and encryption – and again at the end-user level, with secure authentication. According to certain legislations, it is also necessary to host data within the borders of the state or country, so it is necessary to work with a vendor who has local data centre real estate.

The tools to accomplish better delivery of services and ultimately raise levels of customer experience are readily available through modern content services providers and must form part of any council or government's digital transformation plan. Better equipping employees to carry out their daily tasks will lead to happy constituents.

It is time to change the narrative and give them what they expect right from the start.