With the capabilities and benefits that modern digital infrastructure provides, every county and municipal government department has the ability to automate and vastly improve existing workflows and processes via government software.
If you’ve been working in local government for a long time, the idea of transitioning operations and services to a digital environment and changing the work processes you’ve grown used to might sound stressful. Fortunately, making the change is straightforward and offers countless benefits for government employees and your constituents.
In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of embracing technology across your entire government organization or specific department, and how government management software can transform your local government.
What is Government Management Software?
Government management software is a digital solution for local governments that automates time-consuming administrative tasks across departments, makes for seamless governmental communications (between public sector officials and with constituents as well) and stores government data in the cloud.
By switching to government software applications, local governments can go paperless while saving time and money and ensuring that government data is backed up in the case of a cyber attack or natural disaster.
How Do Government Software Applications Help in Your Government Department?
If you’re working in one particular government department, you’re probably wondering: what can local government software do for me?
Take a look at this list of government software applications by department to find the right solutions for you and your coworkers:
1. Clerk’s Department
Clerk’s department employees spend the majority of their time doing tedious administrative tasks like filing paperwork, managing phone calls and emails, and helping constituents fill out applications at the office.
With clerk’s department software, constituents and businesses file applications for things like permits, licenses, etc. directly via your local government website. Documents are automatically uploaded into the cloud and made accessible to relevant government employees.
How Does Government Software Help Clerk’s Office Employees?
Clerk’s software saves employees time on getting paperwork filed via automation, and drastically reduces the number of calls and emails to the clerk’s department as constituents fill out straightforward forms for permits and licenses on your government website.
2. IT Department
As most government departments make the adjustment to a digital format, the IT department is one of the busiest and most important departments. With the need to install and maintain computer systems, as well as take preventative action and respond in the wake of a government cybersecurity attack, IT workers have a lot on their plates.
Without the proper ticketing systems in place, managing the never ending series of tech issues across departments can be a challenging and time-consuming task in and of itself.
How Does County and Municipal Government Software Help Public Sector IT Departments?
With local government IT ticketing software, IT workers won’t have to worry about keeping IT tickets organized. When an IT issue is submitted, the software automatically timestamps it and makes it viewable within a simple module. Automated organization ensures that no tickets slip through the cracks and makes it simple to prioritize projects. Plus, technical reports can be generated with the click of a button.
Learn more in the Local Government Information Technology Strategy guide.
Pro Tip: If you really want to make your life easier as an IT employee, encourage all of your local government departments to embrace cloud-based infrastructure. Doing so will ensure that data is constantly backed-up and harder for hackers to break into that traditional physical servers.
3. Construction Department
Whether you’re in a major city, a secondary city, the suburbs, or even a traditionally rural area, moving patterns since the pandemic have likely made residential and commercial real estate a hot commodity. Government workers in your construction and building department are busy processing paperwork like permit applications and accepting bids and proposals for public infrastructure projects.
How Does Permitting Software and Bidding Software Help Construction and Building Departments?
Here are some of the many ways online permitting and RFP processes can improve on construction department workflows:
- Online construction permit applications: anything from demolition permits to building permits can be applied for 24/7 on your government website. Submitted paperwork is automatically passed to relevant government employees, and can be approved or denied online. All documentation is automatically stored in the cloud.
- Automated RFP distribution and proposal storage: recent federal legislation gave your local government the power to invest in local infrastructure. As you start to build disaster resilient infrastructure and update outdated public buildings, RFPs will be automatically distributed to relevant contractors saved in your records. As more applicants come out of the woodwork, contractors will be added to your saved list for future reference.
4. Code Enforcement
As a code enforcement officer, you’re constantly busy monitoring your locality to ensure local laws and policies are being abided by. Whether you’re leaving tickets to illegally parked cars, inspecting new and existing infrastructure, or ensuring public health compliance is being abided by, you’re always on the go and have a lot of tasks to keep an organized record of.
How Can Code Enforcement Software Help Your Local Government?
Public sector inspectors as well as private sector inspection partners can take notes throughout an inspection via a mobile inspection app on their cell phone. With code enforcement software, code enforcement officers update property records from the field that are automatically accessible from the cloud.
5. Emergency Management Department
Natural disasters pose a major threat in every area of the United States. An increase in violence and active shootings adds another stressful responsibility for the emergency department to prepare for. You’ve got the responsibility to recruit and train CERT volunteers, host emergency preparedness training for constituents, implement emergency mitigation techniques, and respond in the wake of a crisis situation.
How Can Government Software Help Your Emergency Management Department?
There are many ways that government software applications can help with emergency management in your community:
- Update GIS maps in real time: 3D GIS mapping allows government officials and constituents to see a real time version of your community via an interactive map. Emergency management officials can use the technology to mark areas known for flood risk, track building development in floodplains, and note other issues with a helpful label. In the event of a crisis, your community’s GIS map can be updated to reflect road closures, evacuation routes, and where storm damage has occurred.
- FEMA expense tracking: in the wake of a storm, you’ll need to assess the damage and seek federal funding from FEMA, HUD and other agencies to begin repairing your community. With government software, damage assessments as well as your procurement processes throughout the recovery process will be automatically tracked and easy to submit to FEMA officials.
- Make job postings for CERT volunteers: government software allows you to make job postings directly to your government website. Encourage constituents to get involved and make a difference by onboarding with your community emergency response team.
While you’re looking to improve your emergency management workflows, check out these helpful resources:
- Local Government Disaster Preparedness Guide
- Continuity of Government: Government Procedures During a Crisis
- Tornado Mitigation & Disaster Plan
- Flooding Mitigation & Disaster Plan
- Wildfire Mitigation & Disaster Plan
6. Municipal & County Courts
As a courthouse official, you spend a lot of time doing administrative tasks. You probably spend your time fulfilling court documents like transcripts and record requests. You’re constantly helping constituents file appeals for court decisions.
During the pandemic, already backed up courthouses got even worse as government workers adjusted to an online format for the first time.
How Can Court Management Software Help Your Local Courthouse?
With court software, court document requests can be added to your government website, allowing constituents to request transcripts, court records, or other relevant documentation with a few clicks from their computer or cell phone. Appeal requests can also be made online. Frequently requested documents can be added to a public facing GIS map, dropping the total number of requests substantially.
Court management software also includes a simple, straightforward virtual court hearing module, making it simple and seamless to hold court hearings online as needed.
Learn more about how court management software works in the guide to the Best Court Software for Municipal and County Governments.
7. Health Department
Working in the health department has always been an important but stressful role in local government. When COVID-19 happened, that stress level reached another level. Compliance measures vary from state to state and even at the local level, meaning the inspection of local businesses like restaurants became complicated, more frequent, and more time consuming.
How Does Health Inspection Software Help the Health Department?
Health department software expedites inspection workflows with a simplified mobile app. When inspecting anything from barbershops to restaurants to public pools and cannabis dispensaries in your municipality, customizable modules will ensure efficiency and keep constituents safe. Notes from inspections will be automatically saved in the cloud and accessible within seconds from an intuitive GIS Map.
8. Planning & Zoning Department
An increase in the number of Americans moving means that many communities around the country are seeing rapid population growth. While more constituents mean more local economic development and tax dollars, it also comes with high expectations for the planning and zoning department. Department employees are spending all of their time getting paperwork approved to upgrade public infrastructure and enforcing building and housing code and regulations.
How Does Planning & Zoning Software Help Your Local Government?
Planning & zoning plays an integral role in making sure the behind-the-scenes administrative work gets done to make infrastructure improvements happen. Improving workflows by going digital in this department is critical to the success of your entire local government and ensuring constituent safety.
Planning and zoning software solutions improve governmental workflows by:
- Making it simple to schedule inspections: keep constituents safe in new construction and old by making sure the proper inspections are taking place via an online application. Inspectors will be notified when they’re scheduled to perform an inspection, keeping workflows moving and ensuring regulations and safety protocols are enforced.
- Offering paperless, seamless, and transparent data collection: notice trends relating to public infrastructure with an intuitive planning and zoning dashboard. Grant access to relevant government employees across departments to ensure information flows to the right people automatically.
- Notifying constituents on what’s happening: community members appreciate hearing details related to infrastructure projects and economic development. Export meaningful data from your planning and zoning database and dashboards can be shared directly with constituents and the local media.
8. Human Resources
Human resources in local government bears the same responsibilities as the private sector with more hurdles to overcome. Government HR deals with limited budgeting and a general lack of interest in public sector roles, making it substantially more difficult to fill critical roles your government needs to get things done.
How Does Government Management Software Help the Human Resources Department?
Government software makes it simple to post job applications on your government website and drastically reduces the number of new hires needed as the technology automates administrative workflows. With a reduced need for administrative employees, your human resources department can focus their efforts on filling roles that remain critical to the success of your neighborhood.
9. Department of Housing & Economic Development
If your community isn’t actively making efforts to encourage population growth and increase business registration, you’re missing out on a sea of opportunity. Americans are leaving the major cities in droves and accepting remote job offers that allow them to work from anywhere. Your community has the opportunity to encourage new constituents and businesses alike to invest their time and money in your neighborhood.
How Will Economic Development Software Help?
Encourage business registration and infrastructure development in your neighborhood by making workflows simple for everyone involved:
- Business registration via your website: allow businesses to register directly on your website and have government officials approve the application with just a few clicks. More physical businesses will open in commercial real estate locations, and entrepreneurs will move in and work from their homes.
- Online real estate auctions: encourage people and businesses to purchase properties remotely with virtual property auctions. At the height of the pandemic, Trenton, NJ raised $4.15 million in a single day and sold 100% of the properties up for auction. Learn more about how online real estate auctions can boost economic development in our Trenton, NJ Real Estate Auction Case Study.
- Simplified infrastructure development processes: there’s a lot of paperwork involved in building housing and commercial developments. Seamless communication and automated access to relevant documentation will have constituents and businesses moving in soon.
10. Parks & Recreation Department
It’s a lot of pressure to keep constituents happy with well-maintained public parks and constant things to do. With limited budgets and high expectations, parks and recreation employees spend their time constantly planning events, organizing neighborhood groups, maintaining public areas, and managing the loads of paperwork needed to make everything happen.
How Parks & Rec Software Can Help?
Parks and recreation software is especially helpful in scheduling maintenance work via a simple online platform, automating workflows around the various permits and licenses needed for events and public works, and uses GIS maps to make it clear which public spaces are reserved and by who.
With simple online job postings, you can actively recruit volunteers to assist in park maintenance projects and local events. For more insight into the types of projects you can leverage volunteers for, check out our guide: How to Get Involved and Make a Difference in Your Local Community
11. Public Works Department
While the parks and recreation department makes a lot of the decisions around which public areas need maintenance, the public works department is the team that gets the projects done. In addition to constantly running around to fix issues and improve on existing infrastructure, the team needs to manage and organize a wide range of assets like vehicles, tools, and more.
How Does Public Works Software Help With Project and Asset Management?
Public works software simplifies everything from scheduling public works projects to filling work orders and managing them via a simple online module to automated expense management.
Constituents care about where their tax dollars are going and how long public works projects take, so real-time data made easily accessible by the public on your government's website will allow you to keep constituents informed on what’s happening in their neighborhood in real time.
What Types of Workflows Do Government Software Solutions Automate Across Local Governments?
Automation wields the power to transform any government department. With customizable local government software solutions, every department in your county or municipality can expect the following types of benefits:
1. Automation of Administrative Tasks
With robotic process automation technology, government software does the mindless administrative tasks for you, giving government employees hours of time a day back to focus on more interesting tasks and solving big problems.
2. Transparent Procurement Processes and Financial Data
No matter which department you’re a part of, partnering with private sector businesses for crucial goods and services is integral to your success. With government software, procurement data is automatically pulled into straightforward databases and financial dashboards that paint a clear picture of where money is being spent and help with making future spending decisions.
What Are the Best Automated Procurement Workflows for Local Governments? Read on to find out.
3. Cybersecurity via the Cloud
Cloud-based systems are substantially more challenging for hackers to break into, and GovPilot frequently backs up government data, meaning you won’t have to fear the total loss of data in the wake of a ransomware attack.
In the process of onboarding government workers to government software, employees will be trained on cybersecurity best practices. Check out our guide, What Cybersecurity Protocols to Train Government Workers On for a quick look into what they’ll learn from their government software provider.
4. Automatic Data Collection and Reporting
From monitoring financial expenditures to tracking progress on infrastructure projects, GovPilot offers customizable dashboards that pull in real-time data to give you simple, transparent insights into what’s happening in your community.
5. Communicating With Government Workers and Constituents
Across the board, government software makes it easier for the public sector to communicate. Integrated communications across government departments makes it simple to contact colleagues across your locality, and ensures that government workers automatically have access to pertinent documentation.
Your government can improve constituent communications as well. Simple, transparent dashboards highlight your government data in intuitive ways that can easily be shared with your constituents and local media outlets. Complaint management software allows constituents to reach out directly relating to non-emergency issues in your neighborhood.
Software Applications for Local Government Departments - In Conclusion
For years, local governments have fallen behind as modern technology allows for paperless, automated workflows to improve organizational workflows. Finally, government management software allows local governments to go digital to get things done more efficiently. To find out how GovPilot government software solutions can transform your government department, or local government as a whole, book a free demo.