6 min read

Should Local Governments Embrace Private-Sector Partners in 2022?

By GovPilot
 

Americans are increasingly frustrated with the public sector. While the rising distrust in government is often directed at the Federal government, leadership at the state and local levels aren’t quite off the hook.

The honest truth is that governments at every level have struggled to keep up with the times, with many still using paper-based workflows, decades old on-site servers, and fully in-person office based work structures. Fortunately, private businesses have adapted with the times, and regularly partner with American government agencies to improve their processes, make them more efficient and secure, and deliver modern services and operations to constituents. 

Follow along for everything you need to know about working with private business partners to strengthen government-wide operations, optimize digital services, and improve relationships with the members of your community.  

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Why is Trust in Local Government Declining? 

Americans of all political leanings have long felt that political decision making and government inefficiency has lead to wasteful spending of their tax dollars. 

As technology advances through private-sector innovation, the antiquated, oftentimes paper-based workflows used by local governments stand in stark contrast to more efficient, modern digital services offered by public sector companies. Simply put, many state, local, and even Federal government services aren’t cutting it for constituents. At the local level, Americans - who bank online, book travel on sites like Expedia, and order cars on Uber or Lyft from their phones - want their municipality to have fast, effective, intuitive digital applications and processes for interacting with their government. 

It’s no coincidence that this wide gap between private-sector business technological advancements vs. outdated government technology has led to a sharp decline in trust in the public sector that has coincided with an increase in trust and reliance in private businesses. How Can Local Governments Build Better Trust With Their Constituents ? Read on to find out.

What Can Local Governments Learn From Private Businesses?

Customer Experience

There’s no denying it: private businesses have made digital convenience the norm. 

From being able to place calls and check the Internet from everywhere with a cell phone to getting your favorite meal delivered to your doorstep, Americans have grown accustomed to simplified digital services across the board. 

Most Americans expect the same when it comes to their local government but are all too often let down and frustrated by archaic paper, email, or mail based processes. If you’re still requiring people to fax forms, fill out and email a PDF, or drive to the relevant department’s office to file paperwork, you’re bound to get complaints. As the private sector has shown; your local government needs to focus on convenience and going digital to increase government efficiency, the local quality of life, and improve constituent approval ratings. 

Pro Tip: Use report-a-concern technology to ensure the issues that matter most to your constituents are reported to the relevant local government officials. 

Cybersecurity 

Businesses and governments alike have learned the hard way about the devastating impact a ransomware cyber attack can have on an organization. A recent FBI report showed that within the government facilities sector, local government entities were the second-most targeted group behind academia.

Yet, when it comes to cybersecurity protocols and secure data-storage, the private sector’s advancements have left the public sector in the dust.

Local government data breaches are growing increasingly more commonplace and expensive to address. Adopting IT and cyber security best practices mastered by the private sector and cloud-based platforms is a wise way to modernize your local government. 

A cloud-based government management platform such as GovPilot, which utilizes the best in class Microsoft Azure cloud, is capable of keeping critical data and records safe. When considering private sector partners and vendors, be sure to ask about their cybersecurity capabilities.

For helpful inspiration, explore the guide to Local Government IT Strategies.

Why Partner with Private Businesses in Your Locality? 

Innovations in government technology can automate workflows across departments in your county or municipal government to make lives better for your constituents AND government workers. 

Partnering with the private sector to make your adjustment to the digital realm can be incredibly beneficial in the following ways: 

1.  Automation of Redundant, Manual Tasks

Administrative officials spend most of their days filling out and filing paperwork, helping constituents fill out forms, manually entering data into spreadsheets, and other tedious and boring tasks. 

Luckily, government software uses technology known as robotic process automation (RPA) to automate these tedious, time consuming, and inefficient processes, so that government officials can spend their time and brain power to solve big problems in your community instead. 

2. Happier Constituents

Your constituents have likely been complaining for a long time about the inefficient processes when it comes to working with your local government. In embracing cloud-based government technology, they’ll finally feel like their voices are being heard!

Online modules for digital permitting and licensing systems as well as document requests make it easy for constituents to file or request paperwork 24/7 from anywhere. Your local government officials can also review, approve or deny applications via an online platform that automatically timestamps events along the way, keeping constituents updated on the status of their application.

3. Best in Class Cybersecurity Systems and Protocols

In opting for a cloud-based government software platform, your government data is automatically secured. Cloud-based systems backed by Microsoft Azure are substantially more cyber secure than traditional physical on-site servers meaning you’ll be a much harder target for hackers, and will have the ability to recover data in a matter of minutes in the event there is a cyber security breach or a natural disaster.

GovPilot ensures that your government data will be backed up on a daily basis, meaning even if a hacker did manage to breach your data, you won’t have to fear the permanent loss of your government data and private constituent information. Business continuity is critical, and GovPilot enables local governments and their employees to operate from anywhere, at any time, as long as they have a WIFI connection.

4. Support and Educational Resources for a Smooth Transition Online 

Many local governments haven’t made the switch to more modern workflows because their employees are set in their ways and accustomed to the now outdated processes (faxing, filing paper work) they’ve been using for decades. 

Fortunately, private sector partners like GovPilot can make for a seamless transition. GovPilot has designed its platform to be intuitive and easy to learn. We have built our modules with input and feedback from real world users in local government, and continue to iterate and improve the platform based on conversations with our customers.

GovPilot provides training, an in-depth knowledge base, and live chat support with actual GovPilot employees who take pride in excellent customer service and their ability to quickly solve problems.

5. Money Savings 

With the complete automation of mindless tasks, your government can save money on tasks that formerly required significant man hours. You’ll be able to have government employees focus on big problems that need solving rather than mindless administrative tasks, and can even automate certain roles entirely, allowing employees to be transferred to departments and high priority initiatives where they are needed. 

Private-sector partners have strategically designed automated tools for mindless processes across every department

6. Real-Time Data Collection 

Digital government systems like GovPilot automatically store documents in the cloud as soon as they are uploaded. From the recording of inspections to permit applications to court documents, it will all be readily accessible with a few clicks and backed-up within your local government’s system. Employees and private-sector partners will also be given automatic access to all relevant documents, saving time and keeping files organized. No need for hours long searches for paper records!

The Future: Private and Public Sector Partnerships

Clearly, the private-sector wields the technology and processes to pull your local government into the 21st-Century. As public trust increases in private-businesses as they rapidly advance in technology and provide digital convenience, the public sector is overdue for cutting edge convenience and technology.

Consider your local government’s top problems. Why are your constituents unhappy? What workflows could be improved on and automated? After considering your biggest challenges, look to the private sector for modern solutions.

For details about how government management software can provide your local government with a smooth digital transformation, book a free demo. 

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Government + Business Relations FAQs

What Advantages Does the Private Sector Have Over the Public Sector?

With more money than the public sector and less bureaucratic hurdles to leap through, the private sector has been able to innovate rapidly with modern technology. Their workflows are faster moving, more cybersecure, and mindless tasks are automated. 

Partnering with government tech can be the perfect approach for modernizing local governments that continue to use paper based workflows and man hours for tasks that can be automated. 

How Does Adopting Cloud-Based Technology As a County or Municipality Work? 

Government software is designed to be intuitive and straight-forward for government officials to use from day one. In Jackson Township, NJ, the entirety of the departments were able to fully onboard and use 30+ government modules via helpful onboarding materials and support from knowledgeable GovPilot team members.  

For the first time, Clerk’s department officials were able to efficiently work in a remote capacity since government modules are accessible from the cloud. 40 hours a month were saved via automation and digitized permit filing, and government officials reported feeling comfortable within one day of getting started with GovPilot. 

Learn more in the Digital Transformation Case Study: Jackson Township, NJ.

Why Move Away From Paper-Based Workflows to a Government Software Partner?

Local governments still relying on paper for their document storage do not have their data backed-up, meaning if a fire, natural disaster, or other issue arises and the papers are destroyed, your local government will completely lose all files permanently. 

Paper-based workflows require in-person workflows and physical filing, preventing your local government from embracing a remote and automated system to save time and money.

GovPilot’s digital government systems are cloud-based, automatically storing and backing up your government data without a risk of permanent loss. Learn more in our guide to Going Paperless in Local Government

Read on:

Sources

https://time.com/5887428/american-political-division/

https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/OJDVQGRY 

https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/servicenow-2022/all-progress-is-local/3734/

Tags: Government Efficiency, Constituent Experience, Digital Transformation, Blog