Governments across the globe are witnessing a surge in demand by citizens for better initiatives and faster services. At the same time, given the competitiveness and volatility of the global economy they are forced to diminish costs. To deliver, Governments are leveraging the use of technology. The adoption of mobile technology, social media, cloud computing, analytics, and big data has empowered governments at all levels (Federal, State or Local) to roll out initiatives which are fast, better and at the same time cost effective. Creating an intelligent mix of these technological advancements, governments have been able to harness greater citizen satisfaction. This article briefly highlights how technology has become an important enabler for government agencies.
Exploring the benefits of mobile technology, government agencies are finding it increasingly convenient to access and provide information to citizens. Mobility has revolutionized the way these agencies handle various processes such as issuance of permits, licenses registration certificates and many others. Mobiles have greater penetration than the internet and PCs, thus allowing the government to scale up and reach a larger pool of citizens.
To enhance services, some governments are also exploring the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), wherein employees use their own mobile devices to carry on their daily tasks. A departure from the traditional desk job, this will prove to be a great initiative and bring alacrity to operations. However opinion on BYOD is divided owing to security concerns. Nevertheless, mobility promises great deal of convenience to citizens especially as it abolishes the barriers of time, distance and place.
The use of Social Media is also gaining traction with many government agencies. The use Social Media to voice expectation, satisfaction and dissatisfaction towards initiatives and policies by citizens, helps governments to read into citizen sentiments. In many cases local governments have been able to effectively use Social Media to address individual problems or organize community camps and gatherings.
Government agencies have been increasingly relying on Cloud Computing. Cloud’s biggest advantage is that it allows the rollout of digital initiative / scheme with minimal spend on hardware infrastructure. Governments in many countries are offering municipal services using Cloud infrastructure. Citizens relish faster and better services. Agencies benefit as centralization of services helps in better integration and coordination. While security remains a concern in the use of Cloud, continuous R&D is leading to the creation of fortified systems.
Irrespective how initiatives are handled (digitally or manually); at any given point in time government agencies have to work with and manage substantial amounts of data. Reduction of budget deficits, rolling out of public welfare initiatives, spends on infrastructures all these decisions need significant amount of data crunching. Analysis of such critical data can hardly have any space for error. To manage these requirements, governments have turned to the use of analytics. Big Data and similar analytical tools can be used for predictive analysis and improve the quality of decisions made. The use of analytics can also help improving the internal operations, especially when they are used to improve performance and control systems within an agency.
Modern day technology and communication modules have become game changers in the way governments have been catering to the citizens. With greater reliance on such means, governments are gaining efficiency and transparency. Citizens on the other hand enjoy participative and holistic governance processes.
Virender Jeet, senior VP – Technology at Newgen Software