Apr 16 2021

Accelerated Digital Transformation May Lead to More Thoughtful Governance

In a year when state and local governments adopted more collaboration tools and placed more services online, the result may be an increased human touch.

State and local governments, on the front lines of pandemic response efforts, embraced rapid digital transformation not only to connect their offices but to communicate with citizens. These robust efforts have forged strong digital connections within communities.

As a result, when things slowly return to a new kind of normal, government leaders are in a remarkable position to foster more thoughtful government thanks to accelerated digital transformation.

More Hands on Deck

A number of localities have told StateTech that they have seen increased participation in meetings, file sharing and project input thanks to remote work tools adopted by their agencies. Collaboration tools can enable employees to log in and contribute on their own schedules, thereby allowing more input from more people.

At the same time, many employees can give more consideration to tasks that require detailed input. As a result, they may experience enhanced focus in an environment that offers more tools for pooling their contributions — whether those tools are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace or others.

More Minds to the Challenges

When the pandemic shuttered offices in 2020, government agencies won favor by rapidly adopting online citizen services where possible, actually saving money in the long run through collaboration tools that can reach a large number of people with a single resource.

For example, Lake County, Ill., moved to Microsoft Teams during the pandemic. (Read more in “Fielding the Home Team” on Page 22.) The county’s health department used the fresh technology to immediately begin more instantaneous collaboration and exchange of information. Thanks to that capability, the Lake County Health Department strengthened its COVID-19 response and won fast support from its employees, who have mustered a more thorough and rapid response.

As we emerge from the pandemic, some agencies will find they have accelerated the digital transformation of their civic enterprise. The ideal result may be more thoughtful and human government.

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