The New Jersey State House in Trenton. 

Feb 23 2022

New Jersey Lawmakers Propose IT Modernization

The 21st Century IDEA is slated to improve the user experience when accessing government websites and digital services across New Jersey.

Government websites are some of the most highly trafficked destinations on the internet. However, when state and local government websites are outdated and slow, citizens have a poor user experience and may lose trust in government agencies. Government services are some of the most important and relevant services people need access to, and government IT leaders agree it should be quick, seamless and secure.

New Jersey is attempting to meet public demand and complete a makeover of the state’s government services user experience. The state’s lawmakers are currently reviewing newly proposed legislation meant to enhance the delivery of government services.

The legislation, known as the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, or 21st Century IDEA, aims to update the Garden State’s websites, implement modern customer service experiences and transition paper processes to digital formats. The act would also authorize the state’s CTO to request that agencies submit IT modernization and improvement plans.

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What Does IT Modernization Mean for New Jersey?

Within one year of the 21st Century IDEA’s enactment, New Jersey state agencies would be required to submit their IT modernization and improvement plans.

These plans look to leverage data analytics to better understand user interaction with their respective websites and digital services.

The captured data would also inform how best to enhance public-facing websites on mobile devices, improve website operation, and digitize government processes and workflows. Additionally, the plans would need to clearly state how agencies intend to make each agency website used by the public mobile-friendly and accessible for people with disabilities.

RELATED: What are the key state and local government IT trends to watch in 2022?

Why Does New Jersey’s IT Modernization Effort Matter?

New Jersey Assembly Member Carol Murphy recently told Government Technology that during her time as the director of policy and communication for Assembly Member Gabriela Mosquera, she noticed how difficult it was to use technology at the state level.

That experience led her to explore the issue further, ultimately supporting the legislation. Murphy noted the bill’s impact hinges on its ability to evaluate all technology at the state level.

One of the bill’s main goals is to make state government websites faster and more reliable. Within New Jersey, many residents tend to experience long wait times when trying to access basic government services, such as applying for and receiving unemployment benefits and renewing driver’s licenses online.

As Murphy notes to Government Technology, residents “need an easy-to-use platform” where they can access information and services. The 21st Century IDEA seeks to supply that platform and help agencies evaluate and improve their websites across the state, she says.

EXPLORE: How can agencies best digitalize services?

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