While rapid innovation in technology continues to transform the way we live and do business, many state and local governments have not kept up with the times. Antiquated, paper-based processes still in use at all levels of government have played a central role in the slow-moving bureaucratic processes nationally that hinder progress, frustrate constituents, and prevent infrastructure projects and economic development initiatives from being completed efficiently.
Fortunately, modern "GovTech" solutions have arrived to digitize government processes while providing the requisite cybersecurity in order to save localities time and money and enable efficient operations and services that improve the quality of life in a community.
Follow along for a straightforward definition of GovTech and details about how modern government technology can transform your municipal or county government for decades to come.
What is GovTech?
GovTech (short for Government Technology) is online government software meant to move local governments away from paper-based workflows and into more modern digital infrastructure. GovTech, according to public sector entities such as the World Bank, is a technology-based “government approach to public sector modernization.” The same definition emphasizes three core areas for modernization: universal accessibility, citizen-centric services, the delivery of efficient and transparent government
GovTech applications are designed for automating mindless administrative workflows, streamlining interdepartmental and government-constituent communications, and keeping government data backed-up and easily accessible via a cyber secure, cloud-based system.
The "GovTech" Industry is a category of technology companies geared towards serving the government sector, in the same way that companies in the "FinTech" industry serve the Financial Industry.
What are the Benefits of Government Technology?
Automating government workflows and storing municipal and county data in the cloud is invaluable for the future success of local government. Here’s why you should consider GovTech:
1. Automation in Every Department
Regardless of your role and department in local government, chances are it involves a lot of administrative tasks like filling out paperwork, filing documents, passing documentation to relevant government officials and private sector partners, etc. These workflows are not only boring, but time consuming.
GovTech uses robotic process automation technology that is designed to automate mindless tasks so that government workers can stop focusing their time and energy on administrative work and instead work on getting big problems solved.
2. Time Savings
Automating mindless tasks with GovTech reduces the amount of time it takes for government workflows to get done.
With the robotic process automation discussed above, here’s a few examples of time savings across departments via government software solutions:
- The clerk’s department in Galloway, NJ switched to GovPilot for handling open public record requests digitally. Employees reported 80% time-savings using public record request software vs. the traditional paper-based route, with open records requests dropping from an average of 50% of their day down to just 10%. Learn more in the Galloway Open Public Records Case Study.
- As infrastructure development continues to boom nationwide, your construction department is swamped. If you’re still using paper-systems and making constituents drive to a municipal building to file construction permits and licenses, inefficiency is preventing neighborhood projects from being completed quickly. Online construction permitting software saved Columbine Valley, CO 10-12 hours a week on getting permit applications approved and filed, a 50% time savings. Learn more in the Columbine Valley Construction Permitting Case Study.
- In Sea Girt, NJ, constituents had to physically call or visit the code enforcement department to report community issues to relevant officials. Code enforcement employees were stuck constantly answering phone calls, limiting their ability to actually address the issues at hand. With code enforcement software and a simplified report-a-concern mobile app, Sea Girt reported a 65% drop in the time spent on phone calls as constituents reported concerns online rather than via phone. Code enforcement officials were also able to use a streamlined government communications platform for passing issues along to relevant departments. Interdepartmental communications went from taking up 15% of code enforcement official’s time down to just 5%. Learn more in the Sea Girt Code Enforcement Case Study.
3. Budget Savings
With automation and time savings comes serious money savings via government technology. Your local government will have a bigger budget to implement positive changes in your community (along with more time on hand to make said changes quicker!)
As your government collects insightful data on things like procurement, project timelines, and asset management, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions about how and why you’re spending money to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck!
4. Top Notch Cybersecurity
Government data breaches can be costly for you and your constituents. Unfortunately, with many local governments still using antiquated physical servers, they're an easy target for hackers to target in hopes of collecting a ransom.
Cloud-based software is not only more challenging for hackers to break into than physical servers, but also backs up data on a daily basis, meaning if a hacker does hit your municipality with a malware or ransomware attack, you won’t have to fret about the permanent loss of vital private government and constituent data.
For more help on improving your local government cybersecurity, read on:
- Local Government Cybersecurity: Preventing Ransomware Attacks
- How to Train Government Workers on Cyber Security Threats and Protocols
5. Streamlined Data Collection
By opting for cloud-based government software applications across departments, data will be collected and funneled into insightful and customizable dashboards and reports in real time. Every department will be able to notice things like the amount they’re spending on expenditures, how much time it is taking for efforts to get completed, application completion rates, etc. to leverage for future decision making.
6. Paperless Workflows
While most businesses and organizations have made the adjustment to online filing methodologies, there are thousands of local governments still using physical paper storage for all of their documentation. A paper-based approach is drastically less efficient, with administrative workers needing to manually file paperwork and officials needing to drive to the clerk’s office or relevant government department to access pertinent files. If a fire or storm happens, critical documentation can be lost indefinitely.
With paperless government workflows, relevant documentation is passed to government officials automatically upon submission and stored in the cloud, saving you time and keeping government data safe and secure.
Here are 5 Steps to a Paperless Government.
7. Seamless Communications Across the Board
For communicating between government departments in your county or municipality, digital government services make it simple. Using a simplified online platform, employees from one department can chat with other public sector officials and private-sector partners as needed. Plus, automation will pass documents to every relevant government worker and partner automatically, saving precious time previously used to pass documents along. That saves everyone's time and makes sure no processes slip through the crack due to miscommunication (or a lack thereof.)
Communication with your constituents is way smoother too. Report-a-concern technology allows community members to report any non-emergency issues that arise in your neighborhood. And the same online platform that makes interdepartmental communications smoother allows for government workers to reach out to constituents directly regarding progress on things like permit and license applications.
How is GovTech Implemented in a Community?
For many local governments, the thing holding them back from going paperless is a fear of moving government officials away from what they used to. Fortunately, a transition isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
Officials that go for a full government digital transformation are educated via GovPilot’s best practices videos and documents, with Jackson, NJ municipal employees reporting feeling comfortable with using government technology in just one day, and needing just 6 weeks total for the entire municipality to be fully onboarded.
To learn more about the community’s experience onboarding 30+ government software solutions across departments, explore the Jackson Township Government Digital Transformation Case Study.
Local GovTech - In Conclusion
Government technology wields the power to transform government workflows, efficiency, productivity, and transparency across the board. With improved efficiency, your local government workers can be done in less time via automation and a simple online platform. With the software collecting insightful data about community infrastructure, constituents, project timeframes, etc. and automation saving man hours on mindless processes, you’ll have more budgets to allocate towards improving the quality of life in your neighborhood.
To learn more about the potential GovTech holds in transforming your community, book a free demo.
Government Technology FAQs
1. What is the Meaning of GovTech?
GovTech (Government Technology) is defined as technological advancements in the public sector meant to improve the day-to-day workflows of government processes, from filing permit applications to releasing RFPs for private sector partners to sharing documentation with relevant government workers.
The key benefits include time savings for government workers, automation of mindless tasks, reduced costs for implementing projects, ease scheduling infrastructure projects, and smooth, paperless government communications.
2. What is the GovTech 100?
In searching for “What is GovTech,” you may have been looking for insight into the popular government technology magazine, “GovTech.com.” This company, “and its sister publications are an award-winning family of magazines covering information technology's role in state and local governments.”
Each year, the GovTech 100 is a list of the most innovative companies improving public sector life. GovPilot’s government management software application has made the GovTech 100 every year since 2018! See our 2022 GovTech 100 press release for more information about the accolades and the features our government technology offers for local and county governments.
3. What Does Future Government Technology Look Like?
Government software will continue to advance as technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, GIS maps, virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to advance.
- Blockchain for local governments will allow for more ironclad contracts, public data storage, etc. and cryptocurrency can potentially be accepted for local real estate auctions, government fee payments, and beyond in the future
- AI can be used to write legislation, perform research for your government strategic planning, support in drafting government social media posts, newsletters, etc.
- According to GovTech's VR for governments guide, enterprise VR headsets can be used to train emergency personnel, increase accessibility to local public transit for the disabled using augmented reality, and more.
- Virtual telehealth will continue to grow increasingly important as local health departments prioritize digital equity due to glaring flaws in public health highlighted by the pandemic.
- Cleaning drones may eventually be utilized to automate the cleaning of city streets and other key public spaces.
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