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Three Ways the Government Leverages Digital Technology 

Many believe that the public sector is lagging behind private companies when it comes to digital transformation, but government organizations are also changing with the times.

The public sector is undergoing a digital transformation. Driven by budget cuts, maturing technology, and customer demand, government agencies are slowly adopting the same solutions private enterprises use to streamline business operations and deliver better service. 

According to Gartner, Government CIOs estimate that 44% of business processes are currently undergoing digital change, and they expect that number to nearly double within five years. Here are three technologies public sector organizations are using to increase efficiency and meet the needs of citizens. 

Streamlining operations with the cloud

Cloud computing continues to be one of the top priorities for government CIOs, according to Gartner. In fact, many insiders say government agencies are moving away from their own data centers and toward the cloud at a faster clip than private companies. Pennsylvania, for example, recently consolidated seven data centers into a single hybrid cloud.

There are multiple incentives for this migration. A cloud infrastructure allows IT to easily scale resources to business needs rather than over-provisioning to meet peak demands. It also reduces costs; agencies pay only for the resources they use and shed the expense of maintaining hardware, networking, and security. And the agility of the cloud enables government IT teams to develop and deploy applications and services more quickly.

Gathering actionable insights with big data

With all levels of government under pressure to reduce costs and become more efficient, public agencies are turning to big data to gain business insights, make strategic decisions, and optimize their operations.

Transaction analytics, for example, can help government organizations ferret out incorrect invoices or erroneous payments. They can also use root-cause analysis to identify and correct the system flaws that caused those errors.

Many agencies are also using big data to improve IT security. Analytics help them detect advanced threats by automating the identification of machine data inconsistencies. This helps them understand how attacks happened so they can stop or prevent them. 

Improving customer experience through omnichannel

Customer experience hasn’t traditionally been perceived as a strength of government agencies. But they’re starting to take cues from consumer brands like Virgin Atlantic and Starbucks to provide citizens with a seamless experience whether they want to interact online, in person, or through the mail.

Perhaps the most visible example of a government omnichannel strategy is the IRS. In addition to filing tax returns via mail, people can file electronically from their computer or mobile device on the IRS website or through commercial software. Of the more than 137.3 million tax returns filed during the 2015 filing season, 87.6% were e-filed.

Another successful omnichannel practitioner is the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which received a Social Media Outreach award for its efforts using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as an alternative way to communicate directly with customers.

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