Flexibility. Security. Affordability. These are three elements local governments must look for as they consider technology modernization and digital transformation. The pandemic and its effects took governments by surprise. It proved legacy technology systems to be anything but flexible with employees unable to work remotely and long lines at best, to file for services like unemployment benefits. Ransomware attacks and data breaches in recent years have shown that too many local governments are not secure. The significant cost to maintain now proven to be obsolete technology no longer adds up - but with budgets impacted, modern IT systems must be as affordable as they are efficient and beneficial.
The past four months have presented local governments with unprecedented and compounded challenges. Axios noted recently that for years, national narratives have dominated and overshadowed local agendas. Now though, local governments are calling the shots which will have far-reaching ramifications for Americans, from re-opening their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, to reforming police departments and responding to protests. Local governments are back in the spotlight.
The crises facing towns, cities, and counties are inherently local, requiring a detailed, block-by-block understanding of neighborhoods' needs and efficient, responsive services. While it is clear that local government budgets have been severely impacted by the pandemic, there exists an opportunity to make necessary, meaningful changes and investments now that will pay dividends in terms of inclusivity, safety, efficiency, and even revenue generation.
According to GovTech Government budgets are being somewhat bolstered by the federal stimulus funds, but those will not last forever. The sudden economic closure brought on by the pandemic laid bare those governments and services ill prepared to deal with such a disruption. Overwhelmed unemployment systems and other paper, in-person processes that required residents to enter municipal buildings for every day services like permitting, confirmed the glaring divide between private and public sector tech capabilities.
The modernization of technical infrastructure and applications must be made a priority in order for local governments to significantly reduce their technical debt which is rampant throughout governments where legacy technologies have been milked of every bit of their functionality over many years only to become a financial burden as they age. Legacy technologies are maintained, upgraded, and changed over time but eventually they need to be replaced.
Moreover, these legacy technologies are often single-use and accessed via out of date hardware or on-site servers, making maintenance, security, and access an expensive and logistical nightmare. Unfortunately many of these legacy systems are paired with paper processes from which employees must transpose written information from residents, into legacy technology systems.
This inefficiency is then compounded by the siloed data that numerous systems create. Unable to efficiently process resident requests, and store records so that they are easily accessible across all departments, local governments, already running on limited resources, lose productivity, revenue, and constituent satisfaction.
The good news is that there are effective, affordable solutions on the market that do not require further disruption in order to implement. Today, cloud-based software provides the flexibility, security, and affordability not possible with older, now out of date IT systems.
GovPilot’s cloud-based software was built from the ground up with input and feedback from real-world users in local government. Our platform provides more than 120 individual processes, enabling a convenient, digital constituent experience and unified data across all departments tied to individual property parcels through a GIS map.
Here is how GovPilot provides flexibility, security, and affordability:
Flexibility - GovPilot customers can choose the number of modules to work with and scale up as their government discovers the value of the platform. Our gold-standard processes come ready to use out of the box, and can be customized to an individual government’s needs. Digitized processes will reveal newfound efficiency and productivity for employees, and convenience for residents. Clerks in Eastampton, New Jersey were able to reduce time spent on the phone with constituents from half of their day, to just a few minutes per day. Early during the Covid-19 pandemic, the city of Trenton, New Jersey, a GovPilot customer, utilized the platform to make emergency loan applications available to local businesses directly through its website.
Security - Significantly reduce the threat of ransomware and data theft by storing records in the cloud which are backed up and mirrored every 15 minutes. With a cloud platform, business continuity is assured as employees can work remotely through disruptions like snowstorms, natural disasters, or global pandemics that would otherwise keep them out of the office. GovPilot pushes system updates to the platform directly via the cloud, which in turn reduces the burden on IT staff and budget.
Affordability - There is no greater constraint on local governments, than budget. GovPilot is designed to be scalable and affordable for any local government. Pricing is based on just two factors - population size and number of modules selected. This means that GovPilot can affordably be implemented by a town of 5,000 or a county of 500,000. Many customers have even achieved positive revenue through the cost savings, productivity gains, and consistent revenue generated through the digitization of forms and processes.
The pandemic revealed the many areas in need of investment in our governments and broader society. Local leadership will no doubt assess where best to deploy resources and focus attention in the months and years ahead. But equipped with modern technology and constituent services, communities will be prepared for future challenges and will be better able to identify where needs and potential solutions lie.
If you are interested in learning more about how GovPilot can help your local government, please schedule a 15-minute consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.