While some government employees can complete their day-to-day responsibilities without leaving City Hall, most must spend some time out in the community. Historically, this has meant employees must wait to file reports when they return to their office space. Some employees may even need to spend time transferring written notes into digital formats for long-term storage.
Today, however, local government employees can rely on mobile technology to perform critical tasks, from viewing property information to filing reports and receiving assignments. By using a mobile field device, employees like code enforcement officers and police officers can spend more time serving residents and less time recording their efforts back at City Hall.
In this article, we’ll explain what government field technology is, why it’s beneficial, and the types of tasks employees can accomplish remotely. We’ll also share how local governments can build a mobile government strategy, so you know what steps to take next.
What is Mobile Government Technology?
Mobile government technology is a broad term that refers to using technology, like cell phones and mobile apps, to complete government work. A mobile field device makes it easy for government employees and elected officials to serve their community since it connects them with vital information and data – no matter their location.
For example, a code enforcement officer might rely on code enforcement software to take notes or look up property information while in the field. In doing so, she can easily access essential information to perform her day-to-day responsibilities and promote a safe and healthy community.
GovPilot offers government field technology across local government departments. If you’re facing a recurring problem within your agency, you’ll likely be able to find a software solution on the market to fix it!
You can learn more about modern government technology by exploring the What is GovTech guide.
Why are Mobile Devices Integral to Mobile Public Sector Field Strategies?
Mobile devices are integral to mobile public sector field strategies because they provide access to government technology while out in the field. While an employee might be able to use a laptop and hotspot in the field, this approach is cumbersome and clunky. Likewise, iPads and other tablet devices are bulkier than cell phones. This clunkiness is especially burdensome for employees who may need to bring a lot of gear into the field, or who are quickly going back and forth between administrative and field-based activities.
Additionally, most of us have gotten used to pulling out our phones when we need to look something up quickly. As a result, a mobile field device like a cell phone is a natural and user-friendly tech choice for employees.
Fortunately, government software is often available through a cell phone app. These apps make it easy for employees to use the technology even while on the go.
The Benefits of Mobile Government Technology
Now that we’ve established what government field technology is, and why mobile devices are integral to implementation, let’s discuss some of the benefits of mobile government tech.
Field report filing
Mobile software products enable government employees to complete and file reports while in the field. Being able to file reports from the field minimizes the likelihood of forgetting or excluding critical information and promotes public safety, security, and well-being.
As a result, field reporting capabilities are particularly useful for staff who must regularly complete reports while taking important information from citizens and business owners. This includes activities like building inspections, code enforcement, policing, and emergency management.
Read more about Building Inspections and How Local Governments Can Ensure Public Safety.
Auto scheduling of assignments to workers already in the field
You can also use government field technology to assign tasks to employees already in the field. For example, your transportation department can let technicians know if a stoplight has gone out, even if the tech is already undertaking routine maintenance elsewhere in the field. Because you can use this tech to automate government workflows, you don’t need to rely on email or phone calls, which are cumbersome and time-consuming.
Pull up property records and other existing government data from a phone
Employees can also use phone apps to pull up government data in the field. For example, a city inspector or code enforcement officer might refer to GovInspect to pull up a property’s history before conducting an inspection. Remote access to government data also makes it easy to answer resident questions in the field.
See how Trenton, New Jersey streamlined inspections with GovPilot's mobile apps.
Increased efficiency and productivity
Because staff don’t have to head back to the office to complete critical work tasks, your organization increases efficiency, saves time and money, and fosters local government innovation. Government field technology also improves productivity across your workforce since employees have all the tools (and more!) that they need to complete jobs wherever they may be physically located.
Using cloud-based government technology can also support your organization’s data security and integrity, which is particularly significant since cybersecurity is one of today’s most pressing modern government challenges. Maintaining critical and sensitive information with secure software decreases the likelihood of compromising data during cyber attacks.
Learn more about Local Government Cybersecurity and the Dangers of Government Data Breaches.
Instant cloud access to field records
Mobile government technology provides cloud access to all field records. As a result, employees can know exactly what stage a project is in and all associated tasks without needing to call a supervisor. Likewise, automated and cloud-based government workflows make it easy to see who was the last person to undertake a task, so employees know what needs to be completed next.
On-site fine issuance (for code and law enforcement)
Using a mobile field device makes it possible for employees, such as code and law enforcement officers, to issue fines on-site. As a result, government staff can enter detailed information about why the fine is being issued, and provide citizens an opportunity to pay them immediately.
Learn more about Modern Government Fee and Fine Processing Models and the Keys to a Modern Code Enforcement Strategy.
Government employees can work remotely (from the field or at home!)
Perhaps the most widespread benefit of using government mobile device technology is the ability it provides employees to work from wherever they need to. Employees don’t have to be on local servers to do work, since they can access cloud-based software for collaborating and completing tasks.
Remote and hybrid government work structures are a major selling point for public sector recruitment.
GovPilot's GovInspect Mobile App
How to Build a Government Mobile Technology Strategy
The use cases for government mobile technology are plentiful. But how do you implement a strategy around this technology? There are a few steps you’ll want to take when onboarding any new technology to your organization.
First, be sure to attain buy-in from your employees. The last thing you want is for individuals to see government field technology as burdensome. If you don’t achieve proper buy-in, it’s almost inevitable that the software won’t be uniformly used, wasting your organization’s investment. Explain the benefits, and be sure to address any questions or concerns to maximize the technology’s potential.
Next, you’ll need to provide all relevant employees with the tools and training to use your new software successfully. This includes access to a mobile device to use in the field and guided classes to teach employees how and when to use the software. You can help training move more smoothly by choosing user-friendly local government mobile technology. In choosing GovPilot as your government software partner, onboarding specialists will be there to train and assist your staff from day one.
During training, be sure to share information about policies and procedures around tech use. In doing so, you help your organization foster cybersecurity and data integrity. Additionally, you’ll want to provide every user with password-protected access to mobile technology.
The following articles provide additional insights about performance management that may be useful when building your mobile technology strategy:
- Government Strategic Planning: Examples and Helpful Tips
- Performance Management for City Managers
- Government KPIs: Setting Measurable Goals in the Public Sector
Use GovPilot to Modernize Your Mobile Field Processes
GovPilot provides critical local government software to help your agency modernize its mobile field processes, store essential information, and facilitate efficient workflows. Because our software is accessible through mobile apps, it makes an excellent addition to any government field technology strategy.
If you’re excited to learn more about GovPilot’s operating system for local government, don’t hesitate to book a consultation today.
FAQ for Government Mobile Technology
What are mobile field devices in governance?
Mobile field devices are tools, like cell phones, that enable public employees to access critical information or conduct business while working in the field. Using mobile devices in the public sector allows government employees to complete critical tasks without needing to return to City Hall for information or assignments.
How can local governments go wireless with field devices?
You can promote wireless government operations by using software that enables employees to edit documents offline. Many cloud-based applications provide this functionality, including automatically uploading changes to the cloud once reconnected with the internet.
How to file reports from the field?
GovPilot’s automated workflow software makes it possible for employees to file reports from the field. Employees can enter all pertinent information into the cloud-based software, where it will be uploaded and viewable by anyone who has the proper permissions.
How to access government data from the field?
Employees can access government data from the field by engaging in local government business partnerships. GovPilot offers cloud-based software that can be used with a mobile field device, making it easy to find information whenever you need it, no matter where you are.