The 2016 Adobe Digital Government Assembly focused on “Delivering Digital Experiences that Matter.” More than just “going digital”, the conversations that flowed from the event explored how agencies and organizations should be embracing the digital revolution efficiently, and how they can do so securely. While digital government is pushing the boundaries of innovation, the end goal is to better serve the community with secure, user-friendly interfaces and experiences for end-users. Over the course of the day several themes emerged from the government and industry speakers:
- Meeting policy standards doesn’t have to be limiting
During digital migration it’s important to comply with policy standards, but also meet the end goal of providing impeccable user experiences across all channels. Digital production and compliance has never been easier – Adobe announced at the Assembly open source web design templates, available through a GitHub repository, that meet the draft standards introduced by U.S. Digital Services and 18F in September 2015. Well-designed experiences are the difference between thriving and being irrelevant.
- Some rules are meant to be broken
During digital migration it’s important to remember that some rules aren’t what they seem and they’re actually outdated traditions. Take for example the process of citizens completing government forms. Today, 85% of government processes begin with forms so demands have evolved to how government can efficiently and effectively build responsive web and mobile forms to bridge the digital experience gap that citizens find when moving from commercial to government services. Keeping the end-user in mind with design-led experiences is key to future success.
- Security in the cloud is at an all-time high
FedRAMP certifications offer federal government agencies a standardized approach to cloud security, but agencies are quickly realizing that they need more integrated solutions across all the layers of their clouds to offer employees and citizens advanced security measures. Securing data in an agency’s multiple workflows, various networks, countless devices, and seemingly infinite users can seem like a monstrous task. However, many organizations are finding success with Digital Rights Management (DRM), which continuously encrypts and protects sensitive information no matter where it travels. By applying DRM in the cloud, agencies have peace of mind that their data and high value assets are secure on all platforms and destinations.
- Mobile is a necessary commodity
Mobile has become a commodity in the public sector to more effectively engage and transact with citizens: 68% of Americans have smartphones, 51% of US consumer time is spent on mobile versus 42% on a desktop, and 50% of job seekers have filled out an application on a smartphone. Mobility gives government the opportunity to provide better service. Nearly every citizen expects to be able to interact with agencies and agency content when, where, and how they want. Thus, mobile has become a prevailing focus of digital transformation. With this anytime, anywhere access also comes security challenges. User expectations must be balanced with the agency’s ability to protect their personal information.
- Success is easier together
Large scale transformation is challenging for any enterprise, but with top-down support, massive change in any part of IT becomes easier. For continued success, agencies should continue to get buy-in from partners and top-level executives. They should also work to transform in small chunks rather than in big leaps. Baby steps help systems to become more agile and to fix errors as they happen, rather than once an entire structure is in place. Even more, communication and engagement among all teams and parties is crucial to continued success.
- Cultural change is a necessary process
Perhaps the most difficult part of this digital transformation is the cultural change – a very human problem. Cultural change does not happen with mandates, it happens when people are part of the change process and have a say in how work will get done in this digital world. Technology is available to make government digital, it’s this culture change that needs to be addressed as part of the implementation to ensure it all works as promised.
Government is changing thanks to improvements in digital technology; continuing to build on these evolutions and successes will require ongoing dedication to improving digital services, better security, collaboration, cultural change, and a citizen-first mentality from all involved parties. To learn more about the themes, trends, and topics discussed at Adobe’s Digital Government Assembly, watch the session recordings here.