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Crafting a Comprehensive Digital Government Strategy


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With public sector resources dwindling and demand increasing from citizens, government has little choice but to innovate and reform service delivery. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis, this report will provide a snapshot of what a digital government truly is and the path agencies can take to craft a comprehensive digital strategy.

Published in: Technology

Crafting a Comprehensive Digital Government Strategy

  1. 1. 2. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4 Defining a Digital Government - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6 What does a 21st century government look like? - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 5 Components of a Digital Government- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9 1) Accessible – Information Anywhere and Anytime 2) Self-Service 3) Data-Driven 4) Agile and Scalable 5) Removing the Burden of Paper The Digital Government Strategy – A Philosophical Approach - - - - - - - - 13 The Tools to Get There Figure 1: What tools are you including in your digital strategy? Figure 2: How have you responded to the Digital Government Strategy? Figure 3: Challenges to Adopting a Digital Strategy 5 Benefits of a Digital Government Strategy- - - - - - - - - - - - 17 1) Cost Savings and Efficiency 2) Improves Services 3) Creates Workforce Efficiencies 4) Scalable Infrastructure 5) Transparency
  2. 2. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 3.6 Ways Emerging Technology is Facilitating Digital Government- - - - - - 21Spotlight Interview: How Open Source Can Improve Citizen EngagementGovernment Case Study: RFP–EZ and Presidential Management InitiativeSpotlight Interview: Removing the Burden of Paper for GovernmentGovernment Case Study: Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker AppSpotlight Interview: Increasing Efficiency with Digital CommunicationsSpotlight Interview: Reimagining Public Sector Institutions Through TechnologyBest Practices to Craft Your Agency’s Digital Government Strategy - - - - 331) Collaborate Across the Agency 2) Have Clear Performance Metrics 3) Set a Clear Vision 4) Have a Technology Roadmap 5) Identify the Mission Critical Initiatives Where Can Government Be in 3-5 Years?- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 35About Govloop - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 36Resources - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 37
  3. 3. 4. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Throughout the ages, technology has played The Digital Strategy includes three core strat- an essential role for government to craft a egy objectives: better society for citizens. In the Roman Em- pire, the aqueducts revolutionized services 1. Enable the American people and an in- provided to Roman citizens. Leveraging gravity creasingly mobile workforce to access high- alone, the Romans were able to transform com- quality digital government information and munities, providing water to distant cities and services anywhere, anytime, on any device. towns, and create an engineering marvel that 2. Ensure that as the government adjusts to would lead to years of economic dominance this new digital world, we seize the oppor- and influence society for years to come. tunity to procure and manage devices, ap- plications, and data in smart, secure and af- Today, governments are leveraging much more fordable ways. than just gravity. With the same ingenuity once 3. Unlock the power of government data to used by the Romans, governments are imple- spur innovation across our Nation and im- menting dozens of emerging technologies to prove the quality of services for the Ameri- innovate and work towards solving large-scale can people. problems. With public sector resources dwin- dling and demand increasing from citizens, The strategy provides many milestone dates to government has little choice but to innovate reach, with the final milestone date arriving on and reform service delivery. Through qualita- May 23, 2013. According to HowTo.Gov agen- tive and quantitative analysis, this report will cies must: provide a snapshot of what a digital govern- ment truly is and the path agencies can take to • Ensure all new IT systems follow the open craft a comprehensive digital strategy. data, content, and Web API policy and op- erationalize pages. In an era driven by technology adoption in • Make high–value data and content in at consumer markets, government has been at- least two existing, major customer–facing tempting to leverage new kinds of technology. systems available through Web APIs, apply GovLoop’s research defines a digital govern- metadata tagging, and publish a plan to ment as “the tools, applications, resources and transition additional high–value systems. methodologies allowing government to lever- • Evaluate the government–wide contract age new and emerging technology to serve vehicles in the alternatives analysis for all the most mission-centric goals of the agency.” new mobile–related procurements. Additionally, a digital government is one that • Ensure all new digital services follow digital builds a foundation that is device-agnostic, in- services and customer experience improve- formation- and customer-focused, and highly ment guidelines. scalable to meet increasing resource demands. • Optimize at least two existing priority cus- This definition aligns with the Digital Govern- tomer–facing services for mobile use and ment Strategy that has been driving technolo- publish a plan for improving additional ex- gy adoption at the federal level of government. isting services.
  4. 4. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 5.This report draws upon a sur- Clay Johnson, Presidential In- and comprehensive digitalvey of 94 members of the novation Fellow, Executive Office of the strategy. Technology adoptionGovLoop community who are President to craft a digital governmentcurrently adopting emerging is not just a phenomenon oc-technology at the state, local Terri Jones, Industry Marketing curring at the federal level. Inand federal level of govern- Manager, Government, Hyland Software addition to the federal govern-ment. This report also includes ment, public sector agenciesinsights based on interviews Dr. Robert Post, Associate Execu- at the state, local, and globalwith government leaders and tive Director, U.S. Department of Agri- level have recognized the needexperts from our industry part- culture, Center for Nutrition Policy and for service transformationners, including: through a digital government Promotion strategy. Digital has become a Todd Akers, Vice President, Public necessity for organizations to Undoubtedly, government isSector, Acquia improve service delivery and challenged to quickly mod- outcomes for citizens. ernize and turn once rigid in- Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient stitutions into agile, lean andGovernment Services Now is the time for public sec- efficient organizations. While tor innovation and capitaliz- many agencies have plans for ing on emerging technology. Lance Horne, General Manager, technology upgrades, Gov- By taking a strategic approachGovDelivery Federal Services Loop’s research reveals that to innovation and technology, agencies rarely focus on devel- agencies can begin to craft a oping a proactive, integrated, 21st century government.
  5. 5. 6. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE Defining a Digital Government demand by citizens, institutionalizing an in- novative culture through a comprehensive “We have seen urgency on doing more strategy may not be occurring within agencies. with less, being driven by the seem- In the GovLoop survey, 80% of respondents ingly constant budgetary issues fac- claimed to not have a digital strategy within ing the Administration and Congress.” their agency. Although it is highly unlikely that agencies are not implementing some compo- Lance Horne, GovDelivery General Manager nent of digital within their agency, the data is an indication that innovation and “digital gov- ernment” are not part of the culture within an agency. In other words, agencies are not taking a structured approach to technology adoption This section explores our definition of “digital government” and innovation. Further, seventy-seven per- and provides insights from recent GovLoop interviews with cent (77%) of respondents indicate that their industry and government thought leaders, along with re- agencies have yet to name a “Chief Digital Of- sults from a recent GovLoop survey from our community. ficer,” or a related position within their agency. In the current political, economic, and so- Digital government is certainly not con- cial environment, the way government op- fined to just the federal level of govern- erates is changing. In essence, there is a ment in the United States. Digital inititatives new modality that is emerging for govern- have been implemented by governments ment to citizen engagement. Citizens are at the state, local and international level. increasingly expecting a higher quality of service from government, along with a gov- One great example comes from the United ernment that is more responsive, transpar- ent, and agile to meet the complex demands Kingdom. Like in the US, the UK’s digital gov- of delivering services for the public sector. ernment strategy was developed out of the Technology such as cloud computing, en- need to accommodate a society increasing- terprise content management (ECM), and ly dependent on technology, especially as mobile device management services has technology continues to permeate deeper not only transformed citizen facing ser- into our lives. Citizens interact with govern- vices, but is also shaping how organiza- ment on the web to request services, pay tions conduct internal operations as they bills, and engage with government. This trend implement a digital government philosophy. has led to many agencies developing more Although a digital government is clearly in transactions through self-service platforms.
  6. 6. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 7.Overall, both the US and UK are taking the The UK is a fantastic example of how a digitalright approach to improving technology in strategy is impacting governments across thegovernment and fully leveraging emerging globe. In the United States, the Digital Strat-tools to transform and redefine the customer egy at the federal level has led the chargeexperience for citizens. The UK’s 14 goals can toward technology adoption at the federalbe found below. level. Since the strategy was released in 2012,  federal agencies have been forced to meet1. Ensure there is an active digital leader on significant milestones outlined in the Digital departmental and transactional agency Government Strategy. To see the deadlines boards and milestones, be sure to view GovLoop’s in-2. Empower skilled and experienced Service fographic, The Digital Strategy Timeline. Managers to direct the redesign and opera- tion of services Numerous cities are starting to make a push3. Ensure that appropriate digital capability into digital government. Cities such as New exists in-house across departments York City have named digital officers, Phila-4. Support improved digital capability across delphia and Chicago have named Chief Data departments Officers, while over 10 cities including San5. Redesign services with over 100,000 trans- Francisco have named Chief Innovation Of- actions each year ficers. Further, new divisions have been cre-6. Ensure all new or redesigned transactional ated in Philadelphia and Boston, called New services meet the digital by default service Urban Mechanics focused on innovative digi- standard from April 2014 tal solutions to commmon problems. Some7. Move the publishing activities of central links to explore can be found below: government departments onto GOV.UK by March 2013, with agency and arm’s length • Federal Government US Digital Strategy bodies’ to follow by March 2014 • Federal Government Digital Strategy Milestones8. Raise awareness of digital services so that • UK Digital Government Strategy Information more people know about, and use, them • Listing of Chief Innovation Officers9. Take a cross-government approach to as- • City of Philadelphia: New Urban Mechanics sisted digital, and help people who have • New York City Digital Roadmap rarely or never been online to access and use services10. Offer leaner and more lightweight tender- “The more you can do online, the ing processes more efficiency you bring to the11. Lead in the definition and delivery of a suite process, you are not losing paper- of common technology platforms to under- work, so there is a roadmap es- pin the new services tablished, and agencies will make incremental advancements and en-12. Remove legislative barriers which unneces- hancements to the point they can sarily prevent the development of straight- do hopefully virtually everything forward and convenient digital services online in a secure fashion, that’s13. Define and supply consistent management the vision going forward.” information for transactional services Todd Akers, Vice President, Acquia14. Use digital tools and techniques to engage with and consult the public
  8. 8. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 9.5 Components of aDigital Government “First and foremost, the government has to find what is necessary, not just interesting. We tend to complicate, we tend to saturate, and with that comes a lot of investment of money and time, and to get the most results out of a digital strategy we really must focus on finding the necessary and not just serving what’s interesting,” Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient Government ServicesBeyond improved decision-making, efficiencies nal stakeholders to exchange information any-and transforming the public sector, the move where and anytime with citizens. No longer isto digital has led to a philosophical change our workplace defined by a physical government. With the complexity faced by We work remote, on the go, in coffee shops, onthe public sector, government cannot solve all planes, and in our homes. A truly digital gov-its problems alone. To start to tackle society’s ernment leverages emerging technology to fa-most pressing challenges, government must cilitate this kind of environment. As one surveycontinue to take a collaborative approach, and respondent states:bring all the stakeholders to the table. “[We need] a government where people can access the1. Accessible – Information Anywhere and forms and information they need easily at any time day orAnytime night, can submit their questions and have them respondedThroughout our research, a theme that to on a timely basis, and who have people on staff that areemerged was the desire for internal and exter- willing to examine new forms of communication.”
  9. 9. 10. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE 2. Self-Service 4. Agile and Scalable Self-service platforms are The technology that is be- changing the way government ing implemented today will does business. In many cases, be antiquated within the next self-service is removing the five years. Knowing this real- burden of paper felt by many ity is critical for government agencies. As one survey re- to create a digital government. spondent states, agencies are Agencies must adopt scalable moving toward an environ- solutions and leverage cur- ment marked by “Less paper, rent investments in new ways. portal for customers to ob- By adopting a more agile ap- tain information, single web proach to technology, agen- page for many services (such cies can periodically adopt as name changes).” Through and change initiatives. This self-service platforms, gov- philosophy will be essential to ernment can become more meeting increasing demand. efficient and effective in how services are delivered, leaving 5. Removing the Burden of Paper the monotonous tasks to tech- nology, and allowing manag- ers to adequately manage staff By providing services digitally, and place employees on the consumers are able to effi- highest value, mission-centric ciently receive information on tasks. the platform of their choice. Also, the government employ- ee is freed from the burden of 3. Data-Driven mundane and monotonous tasks such as filing, searching With all the different kinds of and organizing large volumes technology the public sec- of information. Leveraging a tor is adopting, more data has digital strategy to relieve the been created. For an agency burden of paper allows em- to truly be “digital,” this means ployees to be placed in the fully unlocking the power of most high value tasks, leaving government data. Agencies the burden of monotonous must continue to explore the tasks to technology. value, volume, and variety of data, and leverage informa- tion to improve decision-mak- ing. Although data is impera- tive, there are two trends that are essential: real-time data and predictive analytics. Both trends are key ingredients in creating a digital government.
  10. 10. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 11. “[We need] A government where people can access the forms and information they need easily at any time day or night, can submit theirquestions and have them responded toon a timely basis, and who have people on staff that are willing to examine new forms of communication.” -GovLoop Survey Respondent
  12. 12. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 13.The Digital GovernmentStrategy – A PhilosophicalApProach “There is a whole component of technology to improving the life of a government worker and turn it back into public service, to make sure their time is used for things that reward the human mind, that is really important to me, that you put the time into human tasks, that only humans can do.” Terri Jones, Industry Marketing Manager, Govern- ment, Hyland SoftwareOne aspect of a digital government involves a With the mobile revolution, it is essential thatkeen understanding of the philosophy that drove government retain a sense of openness and in-the creation of the federal government’s Digital teroperability, to allow and deliver higher qual-Government Strategy, released in May 2012. The ity services to citizens. By becoming more agile,aggressive campaign by the Obama Administra- government can build a stronger governmenttion focused on strategies to implement tech- structure, able to adapt more effectively tonology across the federal government to create changes in technology. By taking an agile ap-a more transparent, participatory and collab- proach to government, and especially in termsorative style of governance, including initia- of mobile, government can build a sound infra-tives that will create a 21st century government. structure able to scale and meet future demands.The Digital Government Strategy sets out to ac- Although the first two priorities are important, le-complish three things: veraging data is becoming imperative for the pub- lic sector. Agencies are creating more data than Capitalize on the mobile revolution ever before and government is increasingly relying Become more agile in technology adoption in a on using data to make sound decisions. With gov- safe and secure way ernment data, the public sector, entrepreneurs, Unlock the power of government data private sector, and all stakeholders can be em- powered to develop mobile applications, im-
  13. 13. 14. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE prove a program, or work col- These principles are being in- fine a way for citizens to eas- laboratively to solve problems fused within the federal gov- ily access and consume data faced by the public sector. ernment. Although the Admin- in a format that is most useful Further, the federal govern- istration’s objectives were to to them. A shared platform ment’s digital government articulate a vision to the feder- approach means that agen- strategy revolves around al government, local and state cies can work both within and four overarching principles: governments have certainly across agencies to reduce costs, been adopting new technol- streamline activities, develop Information-centric ogy to transform government, consistent standards and, most Shared platform with a very similar approach importantly, deliver informa- as the federal government. tion efficiently and effectively. Customer centric The information centric ap- A customer-centric approach Security and privacy proach is used broadly to de- is defined as keeping pace with Figure 1: What tools are you including in your Digital Strategy? 76% 76% 71% Survey respondents were asked Another user stated, “Mission (ser- to “select all that apply” to high- vice) objectives drive the tools 51% light the tools they were using used. Who are the users? How will 43% to adopt a digital strategy within they access the “service?” What 39% their agency. Survey respondents data or information is being pro- 26% were also offered the opportunity vided to the users? What is the 20% Website Upgrades best way to access the data or in- Shared Platforms to offer qualitative answers, in formation?” .Gov Domain Reduction Social Media which one respondent stated, “We Open Data A final response was, “I’m looking try and look at things from a user Mobile for tools that streamline and im- Cloud and public point of view. If there API prove our work and, in particular, are things that they are doing or ones that help us supply more and using to communicate, we try to better information to the public use those same tools, such as so- faster and be able to track our ef- cial media and optimizing search.” forts with metrics.” Figure 2: How have you responded to the Digital Government Strategy? At the federal level, there are many Two Customer-facing Services to Make Mobile 13% ways that government can re- Enterprise-wide Inventory of Mobile Devices spond to the Digital Government and Wireless Services and Contracts 18% Strategy. In addition to mandates and milestones, our survey finds Shared and Open CMS 21% the following ways that agencies are responding to the initiative: BYOD Guidence 24% Government Wide Contract Vehicles, Mobile, and Wireless 26% Web API’s 32% Update dot gov Domain Guidence 32% Tools and Guidence for Measuring Performance and Customer Satisfaction 40% Guidelines for Improving Digital Services 45%
  14. 14. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 15.current market trends to de- The Tools to Get There vices and technology that willliver services in models that is work seamlessly to transformdesired by citizens. This means “Each agency should have more online the public sector. In our survey,providing access to informa- presence as we are now living in a high- we asked government employ-tion through websites, mobile ly visual audience that expects us to be ees what tools they are consid-applications, and data to al- where they are. The government needs ering to create a digital strat-low users to consume infor- to take steps to moving into the digi- egy; the results can be foundmation in the right form, and tal era.” -GovLoop survey respondent in Figure 1. Figure 2 high-models they want to consume.The final philosophy is one of lights how federal agenciessecurity and privacy, as agen- GovLoop’s research has found have responded to the currentcies are sharing, collaborating that digital government is not Digital Goverment Strategy.and creating more data, there just one tool or solution thatmust be a way to retain secu- will reimagine the public sec-rity and protect information. tor; it is the multitude of de- Figure 3: What are your challenges to Adopting Digital Strategy? In the GovLoop survey, respondents were asked to rank their top challenges to adopt a digital strategy. Respondents were given the options of selecting leadership, budgets, staffing or education. The results can be found below. Leadership (30%) Leadership is essential to technology adoption and crafting a digital strategy. Leaders must craft a clear vi- sion, consistent with the organizational mission, and work diligently to adopt technology and find new ways to leverage investments to transform processes within the agency. Budgets (28%)$$ $ $ Budgets continue to plague the public sector. As resources diminish, adoption of technology becomes increas- ingly difficult. As agencies are trying to provide new services and catch up with technology, they also face a $ $ $ $ very difficult economic climate to purchase and modernize. Staffing (22%) Along with budgets, staffing continues to be an issue for government. With emerging technology, agencies should be able to put people on more high value tasks, and allow technology to perform the more auto- mated tasks. This is always not possible, and with hiring freezes and fiscal uncertainty, the public sector is challenged to recruit and retain top IT talent. Education (20%) As many new kinds of technology emerge, they may not be applicable for government. With any kind of technology adoption, agencies need to develop a clear value proposition, making sure government technol- ogy is adopted the right way and solving the right problem, and ensuring that decision leaders, staff, and all stakeholders are all well educated on investments made.
  15. 15. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 17.5 Benefits of a DigitalGovernment StrategyCrafting a digital strategy for government mal operations.” From our research and analy-entities presents many benefits. As govern- sis, there are five benefits of a digital strategy:ment transforms and delivers services in newways, it is important to identify the value add 1. Cost Savings and Efficiencyfor digital government initiatives. This trendis readily clear to the government commu- With the current state of government bud-nity, as one survey respondent states, “Citizen gets, agencies need to not only leverage cur-behavior is changing and we need to change rent investments, but also make new ones toour delivery method to meet that behavior.” find costs savings and efficiencies. One of the benefits of a digital strategy is that regard-The business case for a digital government less of the tools being used, done correctly,strategy revolves on the necessity to provide there are enormous efficiencies and cost sav-services in new ways, drive cost-savings, and ings to be found. As one respondent states,increase efficiencies and transparency within digital strategies “reduce cost and [achieve]the agency. One survey respondent states the more transparency as well as serving the needsbenefits as, “Efficiency at work, cost-savings, of citizens, stakeholders, and intra-agency coun-consumer-driven, transparency.” Another re- cils.” Another survey respondent indicated thespondent stated, “Defined process helps com- top benefits as, “Efficiency, effectiveness, trans-municate movement to public and identify parency, customer service (for both employeespossible support digital can provide to nor- and external customers), enabling innovation.”
  16. 16. 18. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE 2. Improves Services 3. Creates Workforce Efficiencies 4. Scalable Infrastructure A clear example of an im- Technology allows organi- Scalable IT infrastructure is es- proved service is the use of self- zations to streamline effi- sential. In this context, scalability service platforms. By allowing ciencies and place people means the ability for software or ap- people to access information on high value tasks. In mul- plications to continue to function on the web and perform ser- tiple cases, technology is as the size and volume increases vices, the agency can find new enabling people to work on to meet citizen demand. This can efficiencies and do more high- high value tasks and work to mean increasing storage through value, mission-critical work. improve the public sector. the cloud, quickly adding more
  17. 17. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 19. “digital strategies reduce cost and achieve more transparency as well as serving the needs of citizens, stakeholders, and intra- agency councils.” -GovLoop Survey Respondent 5. Transparencycomputing power, or easily mi- Technology allows govern- than ever before. This meansgrating to new operating software. ment to facilitate an im- everything from providingNew technology, such as the proved dialogue with citi- information during emer-cloud, can enable organizations zens. Although transparency gencies, sharing data, andto scale up as demand increases. will always be a challenge streamlining freedom ofAs more citizens expect to ac- for government, technology information act (FOIA) re-cess the web, scaling offerings can instantly connect gov- quests, can happen in a moreis essential to meeting demand. ernment to citizens more transparent environment.
  18. 18. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 21.6 Ways Emerging Technologyis Facilitating DigitalGovernmentAs this report has shown, Spotlight Interview: How Open Source Can Improve Citizen Engagementdigital government can be An interview with Todd Akers, Vice President Public Sector, Acquia, discussing how opendefined and expressed in source technology has transformed the way agencies interact on the web.many different ways. At thestate, local and federal level, Government Case Study: RFP–EZ and Presidential Management Initiativeagencies are adopting tech- Presidential Innovation Fellow Clay Johnson highlights a project to help “streamline andnology to work towards mis- modernize the federal procurement system,” known as RFP – EZ.sion-centric goals, cut costs,streamline workflow and im- Spotlight Interview: Removing the Burden of Paper for Governmentprove the way government In an interview with Terri Jones, Industry Marketing Manager, Government, Hyland Soft-engages with constituents. ware, Jones describes how enterprise content management is relieving agencies of the bur- den of paper, and bringing new efficiencies to the workforce.The following vignettes high-light six ways that emerging Government Case Study: Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker App Dr. Robert Post, Associate Executive Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nu-technology is facilitating a trition Policy and Promotion, shares pertinent information on the agency’s SuperTrackerdigital government. For each App, which they created in response to an increasingly health-conscious public.vignette, GovLoop spoke withindustry and government Spotlight Interview: Increasing Efficiency with Digital Communicationsthought leaders to highlight In this section Lance Horne, General Manager, GovDelivery Federal Services, highlights thetechnologies and best practic- ways that a comprehensive digital communications strategy improves agencies’ ability toes that are shaping digital gov- connect, collaborate, and engage with citizens.ernment strategies. Whetherit is through open source Spotlight Interview: Reimagining Public Sector Institutions Throughtechnology, enterprise con- Technologytent management software Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient Government Services, provides four trends on how gov-(ECM), self-service platforms, ernment is adopting digital strategies.or advance communicationsstrategies, agencies are im- These interviews and case studies provide expert insights on how gov-proving the effectiveness, ef- ernment is adopting emerging technology trends. This section also re-ficiency and transparency of affirms the importance of a strategic approach to adopting technologygovernment through emerg- to improve government services. With increasing expectations from citi-ing technology. Below is a zens, government must quickly adopt and modernize services to createbrief synopsis of each vignette: an efficient and agile government.
  19. 19. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 23.Spotlight interview: how open sourcecan improve citizen engagement strategy. There clearly is an increasing recognition “There is a whole lot that can be done by government that constituents at federal, state leveraging the Internet to help bring ef- and local levels should be empowered to find rele- ficiency to the operation of the govern- vant information quickly, collaborate on issues, and ment, and we don’t have a choice. It’s have a two-way conversation with government on got to be done. The money is not there and the public sector budgets are not the web. There are many ways that open source can growing the way they have in the past.” improve transparency initiatives for government, as Akers states: Todd Akers, Vice President Public Sector, Acquia “There is a cost associated with achieving ever-increasing transpar- ency. Choosing an open source solution like Drupal means that, given the current budgetary environment, more of an agency’s availableAs budgets have become more restrictive in gov- resources can be invested in creating transparency and achieving theernment, agencies are looking for new ways to le- goal of citizen interaction. Innovation and agility in serving the needsverage technology. The web has become an essen- of the public are enabled by the significant savings of open sourcetial part of a communications strategy, and many technology.”organizations are looking to upgrade and consoli-date web services. This means providing options forself-service, improving how content is delivered on The Future Web: Responsive Designthe web, integrating social channels, and domains to streamline information. With the web, an emerging and important trend re- volves around responsive design. Akers spent someTo upgrade web services, many organizations have time explaining the importance of ensuring thatturned to open source technology as a solution to desktop, tablet and smartphone formats are all dis-transform their websites. One open source technol- played well, stating, “Responsive design is a beautiful capa-ogy that agencies have adopted is Drupal. At the bility. Responsive design allows you to automatically format andfederal level, many agencies have used Drupal to adjust to the screen that the content is being viewed on, so thatimplement new websites, including at allows [agencies] to obviously minimize the number of environ-the Department of Energy and at the Fed- ments they have to run.” states Akers.eral Communications Commission (FCC).The FCC’s Drupal-powered website has improved “The more you can do online, the morethe way the agency shares information and en- efficiency you bring to the process. Yougages with the public. includes a public are not losing paperwork, so there isaffairs section, information on regulatory affairs, a roadmap established. Agencies willand a section for developers providing access tools make incremental advancements and enhancements so that eventually theyand data. The site’s clean design makes significant can do virtually everything online in ainformational resources of the agency, including secure fashion. That’s the vision goingmaps and data, easily accessible to citizens. forward.”The federal government is not alone in its adop- Todd Akers, Vice President Public Sector, Acquia.tion of Drupal and implementing an open source
  20. 20. 24. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE Government Case Study: RFP–EZ and the Presidential Management Initiative In August 2012, the Executive Office developed like the previous system because the long, written the Presidential Innovation Fellowship program to proposals took time away from marketing research bring in some of our nation’s smartest individuals and price negotiations and hindered the potential to solve some of governments most pertinent prob- to review more companies. lems. In the current program, Presidential Innova- tion Fellow, Clay Johnson is working on a project “Gone are the days of the 100 page proposal for a to help “streamline and modernize the federal pro- 100,000 dollar deal; the number of words in your pro- curement system”. His system, called RFP-EZ, works posal should not outnumber the dollar amount in the bid,” says Johnson in an interview with DorobekIN- to make the process of applying for a bid on a gov- SIDER podcast show on GovLoop. Instead, the RFP- ernment job easier for contractors. EZ is an online application the company can send a request to bid by answering four questions: In the creation of RFP-EZ, Johnson and his col- leagues have learned “the secret acknowledgement that nobody likes writing proposals. Small busi- 1. How would you do the work? nesses don’t like it because obviously it’s the one 2. What in the past demonstrates you are good at this thing that’s 100% overhead (sales is not billable an type of work? hour).” Contractors do not favor applying for bids on jobs because it takes up time that can be used 3. Who would work on it? to spend time with their family or working to better 4. How much would it cost? their business. The government especially did not
  21. 21. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 25.The answers to the questions are more direct andsuccinct, allowing government officials to reviewmore applications and better identify which con-tractor is best for the job. Johnson and his col-leagues also realized that the same contractorswould be applying for bids multiple times. To ad-dress this, the RFP-EZ application allows contrac-tors to register; creating an account that enablesthem to save their information so the application isshorter for repeat bidders.Everything about RFP-EZ aims to modernize thegovernment bidding process. In keeping with thegoals of the Digital Government Strategy effort, theprogram eliminates unnecessary red tape, quick-ens the process and improves the quality of theexperience on both ends. So far, contractors have“immediately seen the value,” and 250 new smallbusinesses submitted bid proposals in one week.RFP-EZ has proven to be a beacon of opportunityin the move towards Digital Government Strategy,including both big government and small businessin its initiatives.
  22. 22. spotlight interview: removing theburden of paper for government their objectives and spend more time to listen and “There are things that only humans can engage, which ultimately provides a higher level do, and there are things that humans of customer service. By focusing on high-value, should never have to do, and that’s where mission centric tasks, government can provide im- ECM comes into play. So if I am working proved services, and improve service delivery by on a digital strategy for government, for increased attention to customer service. once I am not just going to say that it has to be cheaper, I am going to say it has to Briefly, ECM systems allow organizations to: be better for people and their daily tasks.” Capture documents Terri Jones, Industry Marketing Manager, Government, Hyland Process case management requests Software Access documents and information anywhere Integrate with other transactional applications in an agencyIn our personal lives, society has grown increasingly Measure and monitor customized reports, and storereliant on technology. With smartphones and mo- documentsbile devices, consumers have endless options to en-gage with friends, family and organizations over the With the rapid changes as to how people use theweb. Consumers can purchase coffee, order pizza, web, government is in a transitional period asreceive movie tickets, file customer service com- to how services are delivered. As paper is at theplaints, access personal email, and instantly con- heart of many government programs, ECM soft-nect or expand networks on personal devices. With ware is absolutely part of the transition. With ECMthese changes happening in citizens’ private lives, technology, “organizations are once again puttingthere are now heightened expectations of how gov- their employees’ time back into the place whereernment engages with the public. they need the humans,” states Jones.With the Internet so essential in our lives, web tech- When implemented efficiently, ECM technologynology continues to impact how government in- creates a solution to alleviate the mundane day-teracts with constituents, as Hyland’s Terri Jones, to-day tasks of employees. ECM technology showsIndustry Marketing Manager, Government, Hyland that there are some tasks that computers and soft-Software, states, “We now consider the Internet to ware systems can simply do faster, cheaper andbe mission critical in our social lives, and we are more efficiently than human workers. By remov-bringing that back to our professional lives, so citi- ing document management tasks, workers’ moralezens expect certain things from government.” and productivity will increase as they are placed into roles in which they can use their higher-levelEnterprise Content Management software (ECM) al- skills and work towards the most important goalslows employees to be more efficient and productive, of an agency.focusing on high-value and mission-centric tasks.For instance, rather than performing low-value tasks “There is a whole component of technol-such as manually entering organizational data, or- ogy to improving the life of a governmentganizing files, and physically delivering materials worker and turn it back into public service, to make sure their time is used for thingsto coworkers, ECM allows automation to liberate that reward the human mind, that is reallygovernment from the burden of paper. This allows important to me, that you put the time intoemployees to use their time efficiently, focusing on human tasks, that only humans can do.”high value tasks, such as helping customers meet
  23. 23. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 27.Government Case Study:Department of Agriculture’sSuperTracker appIn the digital world, a food pyr- tailed information dump to get ency and access to information.amid poster hanging up in a started and can build a deeper The USDA recognized that to-school cafeteria is no longer an and more intense experience as day’s public expects to have ac-effective method to relay nutri- you go,” said Post. Government cess to an unfathomable amounttional information. In response agencies are realizing that they of information in an instant. Toto the increasingly health-con- can no longer depend on the address this need, SuperTrackerscious public in a growing tech- traditional methods of outreach, has a feature called Food-A-Pe-nological world, the Center for such as posters, public service dia. Post explained, “you can lookNutrition Policy and Promotion announcements, and the like. up nutritional information forat the United States Depart- Instead they must create a “fan- over 8,000 foods and do a side-ment of Agriculture (USDA) has base,” and work on their agency by-side comparison to deter-created the SuperTracker app. brand as much as a company mine which foods really fit your must work on a product brand. needs.” All of the information andThe app combines the science personalized metrics are avail-behind nutritional guidelines One method of doing this is uti- able to the user “at a fingertip.”and turns it into an interactive lizing social media. “The big met-program that can be personal- ric for us is the awareness factor,” As with most Digital Governmentized. Users can determine what says Post, “The analytics give us Strategy initiatives, the focus isand how much to eat as well as a level of penetration in terms on public satisfaction and stream-how active they have to be by of social media. We know for ex- lining the transfer of informationcalculating intake versus activity. ample that the My Plate initia- from agencies to their constitu- tive [part of SuperTracker] cre- ents. In order to better serve theIn an interview on GovLoop’s ated 2 billion media impressions.DorobekINSIDER podcast show, public, the Center of Nutrition and Overtime we will be measuring Promotion at the USDA has madeDr. Robert Post, Deputy Director perception and the consumer’sfor the Center of Nutrition and great efforts to create a working intent to change.” By combining digital strategy. SuperTracker by-Promotion, explained why an app analytics with social media, thewas the chosen method of con- passes the cumbersome meth- Post’s team will be able to adapt ods of providing nutritional in-necting USDA with the public. the app to better serve the public. formation (posters, books, ads,“We learned through personal-ized nutrition that consumers etc) and instead gives individuals What many agencies are finding access to the information avail-are looking for something that is is that the public wants transpar- able in simple, organized apps.easy to use, doesn’t involve a de-
  24. 24. “ I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives. ” – President Barack Obama Meet your mission at the intersection of “making a difference” and “technology” In government, we serve the people. It’s a fairly simple idea but unfolds into a myriad of programs, projects, duties, responsibilities, and tasks that rely on systems and tools that are likely outdated or barely usable. Work smarter. Serve the public better. Make a difference with innovative technology. Fulfill Digital Government Strategy milestones. Meet your mission more easily and efficiently. Leverage a proven, cloud-based communications ecosystem that has transformed the way public sector organizations attract, inform, and engage stakeholders. Find out why more than 550 worldwide government organizations are using GovDelivery technology to meet their mission, make a difference, and serve the people in transformative ways. Visit us at @govdelivery© GovDelivery 2013
  25. 25. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 29.spotlight interview: Increasing EfficiencyWith Digital Communications Collaborating and consolidating digital communi- “We have seen agencies across the federal, cation efforts is not the only step that needs to be state, local and foreign governments rec- taken in order to be successful to advance commu- ognize the need to focus on strengthening nications strategies. Agencies also need to know the efficiencies and effectiveness of their that the information is valuable to citizens, and public facing communications,” being consumed. “Whether there is a need to issue alert information in times of emergencies or natu- Lance Horne, General Manager, GovDelivery Federal ral disasters, informing the public of changes in tax policy or making available updated information on health care issues, agencies need to not only be able to distribute information, but know it has been consumed,” Horne notes. Technology in the public sector has transformed the way government does business. This report Understanding how information is being consumed has shown that technology not only is redefining is essential to advancing government communica- internal workflows, service delivery, and providing tions. One way of gauging how much information increased efficiencies, but technology is also ad- is consumed is by creating a two-way dialogue be- vancing the way government communicates with tween government and the public. “At some level citizens. it gives the citizen the capability of participating, or becoming part of the government,” says Horne. Recently, Lance Horne, General Manager of Gov- This feedback can point to flaws in communication Delivery, shared his expert insights, gathered from methods and lead agencies towards providing the more than 15 years of experience in the public sec- information that the public wants. tor, regarding how communications has been rede- fined in the digital era. With new ways to engage With current belt-tightening measures in the pub- with constituents, government agencies need to lic sector and the pressures to be more cost ef- understand the benefits and obligations they have fective, government agencies need to “refocus to leverage technology to improve communica- resources and personnel to focus on core mission tions. critical objects, leaving the heavy lifting to technol- ogy,” Horne states. That said, the traditional com- Currently, many agencies have separate contact munication methodology like postal and packag- lists among their various departments, though they ing services, traditional advertising, and simple may be trying to reach the same people. There also email distribution is now becoming increasingly may be separate departments working on social non-viable given the current fiscal environment. In media, while others worry about more traditional many cases, traditional methods of communication methods of communication such as phone calls have proven to be more costly than efficient, forc- and emails. By consolidating communication meth- ing agencies to streamline communication efforts. ods under one department or program, agencies will then be able to use analytics to see the larger picture of what efforts are successful and what “We have seen urgency on doing more needs adjustment. Agencies need to integrate all with less, being driven by the seeming- their digital communication efforts “to ensure that ly constant budgetary issues facing the they can target any outlet to disseminate messag- Administration and Congress,” ing and show subscriber growth without resorting to widely disparate systems and techniques,” states Lance Horne, GovDelivery General Manager, Federal Services. Horne.
  26. 26. 30. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE Enabling HUMAN POTENTIAL through INNOVATION With digital expertise and citizen-centered design, Sapient is changing how our nation works, connects and responds. Check out our Points of Value SAPIENTGOV.COM
  27. 27. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 31.spotlight interview: Reimagining PublicSector Institutions Through Technology public awareness and transparency efforts that en- “Most of our clients’ digital strategy falls courage citizen participation. Additionally, agen- into four categories: real-time data for cies can track trends, identify patterns, and predict situational awareness, making large data events to combat waste, fraud and abuse. available with more meaning, improving a service or transaction, or multiple plat- Improving Digital Transaction Services form design that is device independent.” Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient Government Services Agencies are moving to implement programs that meet citizens’ expectations of accessibility to pro- vide transactional services anytime, anywhere, and across multiple platforms, such as websitesIn today’s global economy, government agencies or mobile devices. Also, agencies are looking toare seeking to redefine themselves in order to understand citizen needs through the analysis ofadapt to the needs of the public sector. Although complex analytics for providing common transac-technology connects us like never before, it also tions, such as disbursing benefits, paying bills andcreates an additional layer of complexity as gov- taxes. By making a thorough analysis of availableernment programs are interconnected across state, data from transactions, agencies can meet citizens’local and federal levels of government. If agencies needs and instill a high-level of customer servicedo not adjust to the changing digital culture, they and satisfaction. To implement this functionality,will continue to suffer from outdated methods and secure data storage, as well as accurate records oftechnology and lose touch with the increasingly transactions needs to be public. Experience Driven Multiple Platform DesignTeresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient GovernmentServices, highlights four trends on how govern- As Bozzelli mentions, many government websitesment is adopting digital strategies as enabling and mobile experiences are designed and packedreal-time data and situational updates, making big with information that does not easily translate intodata widely available, improving digital transac- how audiences actually want to access information.tion services, and experience driven multiple plat- Through research and analytics, agencies are look-form design. ing to understand what information is the most useful, and how to make resources useable insteadEnabling Real-Time Data and Situational Updates of just available. This includes knowing when and how to provide information quickly across multipleGovernment agencies are interested in providing platforms to increase citizen satisfaction.information to their constituents, but efficientlycommunicating that information in a timely man- With the dawn of the digital era, government lead-ner can be a challenge. The common theme that ers are seeking new ways to match the pace ofencourages agencies to develop a digital strategy technology by fostering innovation and creativityis real-time data availability. Increasingly, agencies through a digital government strategy. Today, thewant to use real-time data to make informed de- question is not if agencies should adopt a digitalcisions, spot frauds, and allocate resources quickly strategy, but how it can be done in the uniqueduring emergencies. culture of government.Making Big Data Widely Available “First and foremost, the government has to find what is necessary, not just interesting. To maxi-Bozzelli states that many agencies are not just mize the government’s investment in a digitallooking to “take large data, highly complex data, strategy, we really must focus on finding areas to provide meaningful, measureable impact forand make it broadly available to citizens and moving the mission forward. This is centered onstakeholders, but to do so with meaning.” As Boz- focusing on the necessary priorities in supportzelli identifies, the key is allowing agencies to un- of the mission. This is where we must positively connect, support and serve citizens,”lock the power of government data. By providingaccess to data, citizens create value by building Teresa Bozzelli, President, Sapient Government applications, while agencies can increase
  29. 29. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 33.Best Practices to CraftYour Agency’s DigitalGovernment StrategyOur research identifies many different strat-egies to implement a digital strategy withingovernment. One of the findings is that the cur-rent environment in which government oper-ates makes innovation very difficult. With thepolitical cycle, changing administrative man-dates, and difficulty moving between sectors,innovation is a challenging task for agenciesto institutionalize. With that in mind, it is clearthat innovation that starts at a grass roots levelcan be sustained within an agency if it is em-braced, discussed and encouraged by all lev-els of the agency. Below are six best practicesto implement a digital government strategy:1. Collaborate Across the AgencyCollaboration is the key to advancing a digitalstrategy, as one survey participant mentions:“Encourage a collaborative team approachto challenge responses, and permit uncon-strained brainstorming.” Encouraging a col-laborative environment is essential to govern-ment and can help agencies better identifyresources, exchange ideas, and work towardsachieving mutually defined goals.
  30. 30. 34. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE place for support, communication.” Another re- 2. Have Clear Performance Metrics spondent also stated, “Prototype - don’t waste time with hefty and outdated plans. Start small Having clear goals and performance metrics is and test, ramp up if it’s effective.” essential to fully leveraging emerging technol- ogy, and finding value to measure importance. At the onset of any kind of technology adop- 5. Identify the Mission Critical Initiatives tion, “Having goals, knowing your media and audience, staying consistent with usage, and “Recognize one solution might not be staying up-to-date with changes.” the best for every department in an agency - they have different custom- ers and needs,” 3. Set a Clear Vision GovLoop survey respondent. Setting a clear vision is imperative to creating a digital government strategy. Agency leaders need to look to the future, identify the tools No matter what tools the agency decides to and strategies that need to be adopted, and implement, the new initiatives must work to- then map to the agency’s mission. One sur- wards mission critical objectives, and help ad- vey participant states, “Figure out what people vance the cause and mission of the agency. want/need. Why spend time on a digital initia- As one survey participant states, “First, have a tive that no one will use? You can survey peo- strategy and not just a selection of technology. ple or look at trends in terms of repeating tasks Understand the purpose users want the tech- that might be streamlined or made available nology for. Do not rely on a catalog of devices tothe citizen directly.” or components.” Further, a second respondent notes, “Understand the overall strategy, then 4. Have a Technology Roadmap determine whether and how to support it with digital approaches. Sometimes a fad is just a Technology comes in cycles, the next big de- fad.” velopment is right around the corner – it may be gamification advancements, augmentation, 6. Institutionalize a Culture of Innovation or something completely new. Regardless, agencies must be agile to meet increasingly This was one of the core findings in our re- complex demands of the public sector. One search, the importance of institutionalizing a survey respondent states, “[We] need to be culture of innovation. Our research finds that nimble - technology will constantly be chang- to truly create a culture of innovation, agen- cies need to take risks, share resources, devel- ing so [we] need to develop a strategy that op small cross-functional collaborative teams, covers new options without having to rethink and reward and provide incentives for teams. and create a separate plan for how they could One survey respondent states, “Find ways to al- be used.” low people to do things in a limited-risk man- ner rather than always stopping things in case Further, it is essential to develop a strategic they don’t work.” plan to adopt tools, and running small pilots to gather quick wins and work through chal- lenges. As another survey member identified, “Plan, generate options, test, collaborate, iden- tify risks and unintended impacts, put policy in
  31. 31. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 35.Where Can GovernmentBe in 3-5 Years?With each of our interviewees, GovLoop “There will be some cost-specific things thatasked participants to share insights regard- will continue to happen, including cloud foring where they think government will be in data and device independence; those are go-the next five years. Across the board, inter- ing to be two things that are not an option.viewees were confident that technology is In three years, if we think about what’s driventruly going to transform government, and by the citizen, I think crowdsourcing of solu-serve as a way to re-imagine and create a 21st tions will continue to drive the government tocentury government. With budgetary pres- change how it does business. The ability to plansures mounting, and agencies being forced for change includes attracting the right digitalto do more with less, now is the time when innovation workforce and developing digitalinnovation should occur in government. strategies that connect us across digital divides.”Further, Jones believes that self-service mod- Undoubtedly, the public sector is ripe for inno-ules and programs will expand in the public vation, as Horne states, “In the next 3-5 years wesector. As Jones identifies, “People are go- are going to witness a sea-change in the way dig-ing to have the tools they need to do the job ital communications is managed from a publicand government is going to have gone a long sector perspective.” Akers agreed with Horne’sway towards self service. Government has sentiments, stating that: “The way to improvereached the perfect storm of not enough staff, services is through incremental investmentsnot enough money and a generation shift in in technology. Agencies can leverage the webwhat we expect and are able to do online.” more, and generate cost savings by providing interaction and automatic submission of docu-Through emerging technology, Bozzelli is ments and forms online. And since this allowsalso confident that the way government does them to provide better ways to get access tobusiness will be transformed. Bozzelli states, that content, calls to the agency are minimized.”
  32. 32. 36. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE ABOUT GOVLOOP Location GovLoop is headquartered in Wash- ington D.C with a team of dedicated professionals who share a commit- ment to connect and improve gov- ernment. GovLoop 734 15th St NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 Fax: (202) 407-7501 GovLoop’s mission is to connect gov- research. Today, GovLoop is the lead- ernment to improve government. We ing site for addressing public sector is- aim to inspire public sector profes- sues. sionals by acting as the knowledge network for government. The GovLoop GovLoop works with top industry part- community has over 65,000 members ners to provide resources and tools to working to foster collaboration, solve the government community. GovLoop problems and share resources across has developed a variety of guides, in- government. fographics, online training and educa- tional events, all to help public sector The GovLoop community has been professionals become more efficient widely recognized across multiple sec- Civil Servants. tors. GovLoop members come from across the public sector. Our member- GovLoop’s report, Crafting a Comphrensive ship includes federal, state, and local Digital Government Strategy is sponsored public servants, industry experts and by Aquia, GovDelivery, Hyland, and Sapient. professionals grounded in academic
  33. 33. DIGITALGOVERNMENT 37. resourcesGovloop GuidesUnlocking the Power of Government Analytics, Pat Fiorenza, March 13, 2013: Technology: A Year in Review, Pat Fiorenza, December 5, 2012: GovLoop Report: Exploring Bring Your Own Device in the Public Sector, Pat Fiorenza, October 25, 2012: the Digital Roadmap: Pat Fiorenza, August 7, 2012: the Promise of GIS in the Public Sector: Pat Fiorenza, October 16, 2012: infographicsHow Enterprise Content Management is Transforming the Public Sector, Pat Fiorenza, March 18, 2013, Technology in Review 2012, Cat Robinson, December 19, 2012, Digital Government Strategy Timeline - An Infographic, Jeff Ribeira, August 9, 2012: Blogs7 Ways to Get Innovation Right, Emily Jarvis, March 26, 2013: Parallels Between the US and UK Digital Government Strategy, Pat Fiorenza, January 24, 2013: House Releases BYOD Tool-Kit, Pat Fiorenza, August 24, 2012:’s Technology Page: Government Strategy Resources:
  34. 34. 38. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE 734 15th St NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 Fax: (202) 407-7501