There’s a growing pressure on government agencies to modernize IT in order to more effectively fulfill their missions. The first step is the most difficult – to let go of entrenched strategies.
When agencies reproduce existing processes with new technologies, they miss the point of modernization. True transformation means realigning the agency workforce to its mission.
In other words, digital transformation isn’t about preserving ‘how’ things are currently done. It’s about refocusing on ‘why’ things are done and finding ways to do them better.
The Role of the Platform in Agency Transformation
Ultimately, an agency’s effectiveness depends on the value it provides to the public. In practice, this means organizing processes around the citizen. Instead of asking citizens to navigate complex organizational structures and bureaucratic processes, a transformed agency provides on-demand self-services, intuitive mobile service delivery, and a single, unified view of the citizen. The ‘why’ is always connected to the citizen-customer experience and the agency’s role in preserving the public trust.
Digital platforms have a key role to play in these modernization efforts. A platform provides digital service capabilities to support the transformation requirements, business process, and workflow capabilities that allow for a better user experience. It allows agencies to collaborate seamlessly across departments and programs, and raise the bar on customer satisfaction.
Salesforce, as a digital engagement platform, facilitates the production of greater value for citizens by making their interactions with agencies frictionless. At the same time, it speeds up the tracking and reporting necessary for compliant and repeatable government operations.
Tips for Choosing a Platform
When evaluating platforms, agencies should look for solutions that deliver capabilities to citizen-customers with the lowest level of complexity. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Establish a Simple End-State Target for your Transformation.
Give your transformation an identity that the organization can rally behind. Something as simple as; “Our customers (citizens, partners, governments) should have access to everything we provide through a single web/mobile experience with a single log-in and our employees should be able to do their job without paper and from anywhere.”
2. Align Architecture and Operations.
With end-state objectives in mind, agencies should evaluate multi-cloud architectures that deliver SaaS, aPaaS, PaaS, and IaaS capabilities necessary to complete mission functions. A good place to start is by establishing a SaaS-first cloud strategy. The more SaaS and PaaS capabilities agencies leverage, the greater the reduction in operations and maintenance. A single digital engagement platform focus the organization’s transformation efforts and allow all areas of the business to make progress in tandem. Commoditizing operations allows the business to focus on mission outcomes and alleviates them from having to think about compliance and pay duplicative maintenance costs.
3. Establish a Strategic Investment Fund.
Similar to the “transformation” funding category commonly found in the financial services industry, this allocation allows agencies to constrain investment in legacy, reduce the administrative burden across systems, and consolidate the program/project management of strategic cloud partners.
4. Source Strategically.
Communicate with procurement and acquisition teams about the digital transformation objective. They can begin thinking about how to reduce acquisition cycle-times for the scalable agile teams and products necessary to achieve the transformation goals.
5. Engage IT Security.
Agency security professionals play an important role in digital transformation efforts. They’ll need to establish an inheritable (GSS) ATO to reduce the time, effort, and overhead associated with conducting ATOs across all controls on an application by application basis.
By following these steps, agencies are well-positioned to fulfill their missions while consolidating investments, eliminating duplicate systems and contracts, improving overall security, driving innovation, and increasing adoption of their services.