Jan 20 2022

5 Factors for Local Government to Consider in Digital Transformation

What does digital transformation mean for a city or county?

Municipalities that improve citizen services do so through digital transformation. Here are some key factors for city and county IT leaders to consider as they go on that journey. 

1. What Does Digital Transformation Mean for Cities?

In the past, going digital meant taking old processes and simply shifting them online: A paper form became a computer-based form, and the filing cabinet was replaced with a disk drive. True digital transformation (DX) takes advantage of the advances and cost savings in IT that let us go completely digital. DX means more than converting; it means starting over and asking yourself, “If I were designing this from scratch, how would I do it today?

2. Where Should Local Governments Focus DX Efforts?

Citizen services are the best places to start, because these have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction. When citizens start being wowed by how easy it is to do business with their local government, it helps build financial, administrative and managerial support for more DX down the line. 

3. What’s the First Step for DX?

Identity and access management is the key underlying layer for any DX initiative. You need a way to authenticate and authorize users — whether they are citizen end users or staff — so they can access your services. Building a scalable, private and secure IAM system is the first step to any DX program. 

4. What Are the Main Pitfalls That Local Governments Face with DX?

Disenfranchisement and abuse of digital services are the biggest stumbling blocks. If a service requires an internet connection, then it’s critical to have alternative ways to access that service, such as call centers, distributed internet kiosks (e.g., at libraries) and walk-in service centers. Make sure to have a red team as part of your DX process to analyze what you are doing from the point of view of someone who is looking to abuse or crash the system. 

5. How Does DX Work Across Different Levels of Government?

DX is based on a rethinking of your processes, and acknowledging that many citizens don’t know whether something is the responsibility of city, county, state or federal government is a first step. This means that government agencies have to work together at multiple levels to build a citizen-focused set of services.

DIVE DEEPER: What are the top state and local government IT trends to watch?

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