The Intelligent Public Sector Organization: Three Ways Forward

Patrick Fitzgerald

Public sector organizations are experiencing tremendous change. While the core mission to protect the community, provide services, and help the economy prosper remains firmly in place, rising constituent expectations for service, convenience, and data protection are putting organizations to the test.

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Much is at stake, and failure can cause real harm: unsafe or unhealthy communities, degraded citizen services or lack of services, economic or political irrelevance, and loss of power or reputation.

Keeping pace at a time when constituents expect experiences and interactions modeled on the kind they receive from digital natives is no small task. To continue to fulfill its mission, government must embrace technical, cultural, and organizational change to be more responsive, adaptable, and transparent.

The following strategic priorities for becoming an intelligent enterprise are helping governments to move forward:

Put the citizen at the center

Governments today seek ways to simplify complicated processes and provide more personalized, self-managed services for citizens across all channels. Organizations are employing intelligent technologies with conversational UIs and natural-language processing for better delivery of services. Agencies are becoming service orchestrators and information brokers capable of supporting end-to-end customer journeys across departments.

One result is greater automation that supports the personalization of core services. This frees up employees to focus on the more complex services citizens need. Another result is that organizations are beginning to deliver services proactively without compromising privacy and permission, rather than expecting the citizen to request services.

With two-way authentication, encryption, and blockchain technology, for example, organizations can enable constituents to approve the use of their personal data one time only – thus streamlining their experiences. And by collecting experience data, government agencies can also get a much clearer picture of how citizens engage with them and then make adjustments to more effectively deliver on policy mandates.

Leverage data as an asset

As governments seek to use data to inform decision-making, they must find ways to more effectively share data across their own agencies to develop an integrated picture. By breaking down silos with a consolidated view of data, organizations will be able to share data more freely – and even use it for predictive analytics and simulations. This can improve strategic planning and policy-making.

At the same time, agencies need to prioritize the protection of data – at rest or in transit – from disclosure, modification, or destruction. Key to all of this is a rationalized approach to data management that supports an organization-wide “single source of truth” that integrates inter-organizational and external data.

To this end, organizations are moving toward centralized, easy-to-use data management platforms with intuitive interfaces that simplify access to information and empower stakeholders at all levels to maximize the value of data wherever possible.

Reimagine business processes and models

Government agencies are now moving to redefine their core processes and service delivery models – modernizing legacy systems and laying a digital foundation for data-driven decision-making. Everyday tasks are being automated, enabling employees to focus on the cases that require human engagement.

Some examples include the automation of constituent-facing services (such as social services, call centers, and automobile licensing and registration requests) and internal processes (such as invoice approvals and payment-matching).

Automation, invariably, involves the generation of data – which can then be used by machine learning algorithms to identify patterns. For example, agencies could use such information to optimize tax collection strategies based on individuals’ payment history.

Moving forward, agencies could even establish networks of government and non-government stakeholders that use decentralized ledger technologies such as blockchain to power further process simplification. Gathering data from multiple sources and using advanced analytics will enable the government to intelligently deliver the right services to the right people at the right time.

The future is bright

Increasingly, the most successful public agencies will be those that reimagine their end-to-end business processes using the tools and technologies now widely available. These agencies will shift routine tasks from humans to business systems using intelligent automation to serve citizens better than ever before.

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SAP Industries Forum 2020: Public Sector
Experience the Intelligent Enterprise
Thursday, March 26, 2020
8:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. EDT, 4:00 p.m. CET

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Patrick Fitzgerald

About Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald heads up Saltbox Communications, a technology marketing shop serving the enterprise software industry. For more than 18 years, he has worked with SAP as an independent communicator focusing on the business and technology challenges that organizations across a wide range of industries face as they pursue digital transformation.