Why your digital transformation needs the complete view

Here at the Gartner Symposium in Australia, everyone is talking about digital transformation.

As states, territories and local councils begin to embrace their own digital transformations, pioneering agencies are being recognised for making improvements that have and are expected to continue to improve citizen service. Many of these projects implemented web-based services and interactions to gather the information needed to transact government business. This is a big efficiency improvement over paper-based processes helping to meet current citizen expectations for online access.

3 important themes

However, as agencies plan new projects or begin digitisation, there should be several themes informing your project plans:

1. Sustainability

What is the sustainability of each of the solutions deployed for a process or set of departmental processes? Relying on custom code and integrations to create your web-based solution may not be sustainable financially and requires staff with specific skills to maintain.

2. Flexibility

How will you enhance and update your solution when regulations or legal responsibilities change? And, closely related, how fast can you deploy the changes if a deadline is tight?

3. Accessibility

What about the older databases, file cabinets and warehouses of archived information held in paper-form? How do new web-based projects address and include information trapped in paper-form from the days before your digital transformation? Can staff function without access to that information, or do they need a complete view of a project, a contract or a citizen?

These questions get to the heart of successful digital transformation because without sustainability, enhancements, integrations and a complete view of information, you will erode the efficiencies and cost benefits of digital transformation. Cost is directly influenced by solutions built with tools that emphasise configurability versus custom-developed, single-use investments. Efficiency can erode if you can’t easily keep up with trends, user needs and new responsibilities.

3 more questions

As you move from paper to digitalized processes, consider these questions and realities for your staff:

1. Do you have silos of data?

Does your web-based service delivery solution create additional and separated areas for information, forcing your internal staff to continue to search paper files or different data systems for a complete view of the information? Government is already dealing with silos of information, creating new ones to improve front-end delivery will not achieve the efficiency needed or promised.

2. Who’s the transformation for?

You should begin by answering, “What’s in it for me?” Front-end systems are wonderful for citizens and can improve both cost and the level of service. But, at the heart of digital transformation is also the need to relieve the workload and redundancy that plague paper-driven and low-tech methods of delivering critical services. Focus only on front-end improvement and staff may rightly ask, “What’s in it for me?” Make the right choice and you can offer the end-to-end solution that transformation touts and offers relief to citizens and staff alike.

3. What about the content?

Many front-end solutions gather data, but what about the existing files and content held in the many systems across our departments? A new front-end solution can improve things for your citizens, but staff deal with an increased volume of applicants without a way to connect these requests to the files that may already exist. If your digital transformation doesn’t include digitisation of things stored in paper, a contributor to inefficiency will have escaped your transformation effort.

3 reasons to connect systems

Digital transformation projects for states and local councils are often centered on offering web-based services to citizens and making their websites more robust as a communications tool. But the solutions need to be end-to-end, helping citizens and staff by making access to services and the delivery of services work better.

Your staff needs connected systems that:

1. Automate tasks

2. Provide access to all forms of relevant information

3. Eliminate low-value and duplicative tasks.

Your digital transformation needs a complete view of the features necessary to help citizens and staff, the information needed to deliver services and the technologies needed to be sustainable, affordable and adaptable to the responsibilities of government.

That’s a transformation worth going through. If you want to learn more and are attending the Gartner Symposium this week in Gold Coast, Australia, please come to my session Removing Roadblocks to Digital Transformation – 6 Steps to Success, Tuesday, 31 October from 12:45 p.m. – 13:05 p.m.

Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Wondering what goes into a document management or ECM software deployment in government? Terri Jones, Hyland's government marketing portfolio manager, has your answer. In her 10 plus years in both state and local government, she's managed IT departments, implemented ECM strategies and written legislation and program policies. If that isn't enough to prove her IT expertise in government, she has also designed and implemented data systems and websites to manage compliance and funding in excess of $90 million annually. Have a question for her? Contact her at terri.jones@onbase.com.

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