Why Government Digitization is Important

Much has been said about the need for government digitization and modernization. Various departments have set tentative goals for modernizing by 2015, or 2020, or 2025, or even 2030.

Some agencies are still grappling with the challenges of antiquated legacy systems. Meanwhile, a few analysts are musing on the potential for connecting with citizens through the metaverse.

But digital government really comes down to effectively increasing two things: public sector efficiency and citizen satisfaction. And the right municipal GovTech solutions deliver them with seamless service.

Government Digitization Boosts Citizen Satisfaction Levels

Constituents want their municipal government services to feel as modern, convenient, and digitalized as ordering coffee from a restaurant app, checking their budgeting app, or finding information via Google.

Government bodies delivering exceptional customer experiences that rank with top-rated private sector companies have the highest satisfaction rates. This in turn increases public trust, improves morale, and lowers agency costs.

So, what creates a great modern citizen experience? The single biggest factor is access to digital service channels. Citizens want digital services in the areas that most affect them. To be specific, these are tasks related to learning, applying, waiting, checking, obtaining approvals, enrolling, accessing, renewing, updating, appealing, cancelling, and resolving issues online. Municipalities providing online government services in these areas create outsized positive impact and higher customer experience levels.

Citizens are used to a digitalized world and hold public services to the same standards as private sector organizations. Most people expect to be able to apply, renew, check statuses, and pay fees for licenses, permits, applications, claims, and more online, without having to make a trip down to the local office.

Does your agency deliver online government services with that level of convenience? If not, consider implementing government technology with the intention of developing citizen-centric services. Effective government modernization aims for public sector digitization in a way that prioritizes meeting citizen needs, behaviors, values, and expectations.

But having swift, digital internal workflows or one or two amazing platforms isn’t enough. Your agency must provide holistic online services in a way that caters to varying citizen profiles. That includes tech-forward citizens who want end-to-end online services for government, those who enjoy independence but with an eye to platform security, and older adults who prefer maybe a hybrid approach.

There’s one guaranteed way to positively engage with all of them. It’s by offering secure, user-friendly, personalized digital government services that deliver outsized benefits over in-person services. That’s what it takes to get high citizen satisfaction levels, while improving internal and external efficiency.

Government Modernization Increases Efficiency and Reduces Costs

Inefficient government is expensive, placing undue burdens on the taxpayers and private constituents.

Have you ever considered what the direct costs of business regulations are? It can be difficult to ascertain a full total, but one estimate using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it at $364.3 billion to US businesses, with $231.9 billion coming from necessary regulations and $132.4 billion coming from excessive red tape.

This financial burden comes from wage costs due to spending time on regulatory compliance, professional fees to lawyers and other professionals, equipment and renovation spending, and losses due to delays.

Additionally, small to medium-sized businesses face outsized regulatory costs per employee. The researchers noted that the smallest American businesses pay around six times the employee regulation costs that larger enterprises do.

Regulation is necessary, and we can’t eliminate all the expenses of remaining compliant. However, we can dramatically slash costs with specialized government technology that unifies interactions, streamlines processes, and speeds up request fulfillment.

Private Sector Revitalization

Effective government digital transformation revitalizes and strengthens the private sector. GovTech makes interacting with municipalities much more convenient, user-friendly, and accessible. And this creates a more engaged, open, business-friendly, and socially inclusive environment.

Digital governments are inherently more business friendly. The best government technology implementations transform a municipality into a verified business facilitator by reducing administrative and bureaucratic burdens impeding economic activity.

Let’s look at this classic scenario. Most property developers and owners have ongoing zoning, permitting, or licensing needs to meet, either when obtaining requisite approvals or if compliance issues occur. Without digital government, this can become an extended ordeal for both constituents and government workers.

Business activity is severely impacted when local government is fractured and non-digitized. Established businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals, micro-entrepreneurs, and other self-employed workers all feel the brunt of it. There are a few recurring issues in municipalities that don’t provide cohesive online government services. These include business owners and other constituents:

  • Having to submit, retrieve, or verify documentation in-person
  • Needing to make multiple trips back and forth for a single task
  • Waiting in long queues to see or speak with a staff member
  • Getting inconsistent and contradictory information or incorrect directions and advice
  • Having to visit multiple departments or agencies for one purpose
  • Interacting with several agencies to file information or attend meetings

Most municipalities require small businesses to submit documents, go through inspections, pay fees, and acquire various licenses, permits, and approvals in order to open, operate, and expand. And the typical agency doesn’t have control over which regulations are passed. But local government organizations can create interdepartmental regulatory ease by implementing GovTech.

Localities that operate with manual workflows, siloed information, and disparate solutions turn these requirements into significant economic difficulties. With the right government technology package, you can create a “one-stop shop” of online services for government that eliminates administrative and bureaucratic impediments and facilitates regional economic growth.

The more involved, complex, and lengthy public interactions are, the more critical it is to coalesce them and transfer them online. This can create a frictionless business environment. Think of a small business owner who has to file requests in person, take time out of work to visit multiple agencies, call in for updates, revisit to provide more information, and halt operations until the whole thing goes through, all while hoping that the right person has their request in front of them. Versus one who can submit information online at their convenience, have requests go straight to the relevant person, track their progress online, and get a timely response.

Each municipal agency can customize the government technology that works for them. For some, it might be as simple as implementing a portal where constituents can submit their information for taxes, licensing, permit management, etc.

For other agencies, it’s time for a full internal government modernization process, which includes digitized public engineering work, neighborhood interactions, public fleet management, public communications management, and other areas of work.

GovTech Solutions for Municipal Governments

Cities and towns that are great to live, play, and do business in are effortless and convenient to interact and work with. At Mitchell Humphrey, we offer a suite of GovTech software solutions that make that happen.

Our municipal government digitization and modernization platforms take care of everything from citizen briefing to inspection scheduling, and more.

Looking to make it easier for entrepreneurs to license new businesses, restaurant owners to get their permits, or vets to renew pet tags? Need to manage development permits, organize a new road project, or track rental property issuances? Our solutions can handle all of that for you, and more.

Delivering online services for government has never been simpler. To explore our software, please schedule a demo with us.

We’ll be happy to guide you through the one that best meets your needs.