Government offices had to adapt rapidly over the past year, as the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly ushered in an era of remote access and accessibility along with a sharply rising demand for public services like unemployment benefits and more. It’s very much worth celebrating how well government employees were able to handle the job, but it’s also important to recognize that there isn’t really a finish line in this process. Just like how the virus’s many variants are forcing science to keep coming up with new solutions for protecting the population, ongoing digital transformation requires government offices to keep up with new changes to best serve their constituents and support an increasingly remote workforce.
According to a recent Gartner study, 74 percent of government CIOs report that they have increased the level of their business knowledge, and 73 percent report that they have assumed leadership of high-impact initiatives. These are absolutely huge numbers, and they underscore just how important tech-savvy leadership has been in government over the past year. While many government CIOs believe that their teams have responded well, they must also understand that their organizations must continue to do so going forward. This includes delivering new digital services, creating and supporting remote or hybrid workplaces, and digitizing supply chains to improve efficiency.
To achieve all this, local government offices must expand the role of digital technologies in service delivery, and introduce automation into their day-to-day workflows. They must make things more efficient and mobile-friendly. But they must balance all of their digital government transformation investments with their long-term goals. COVID forced government offices into rapid, reactionary change, but now it’s time to start thinking about the future and what adaptations an office can make to provide its constituents with the highest level of service.
We believe that automated scheduling tools like Qless will be vital to these efforts. While people are excited to get back to doing things in person after a long period of social distancing, nobody is excited to stand in line ever again. It’s this sort of small but important change that will define a good level of service in the future.
One last thing to consider — there’s an ongoing situation where “pandemic fatigue” threatens to undo the progress that’s been made. People are tired of change and are backsliding into outdated ways of working as a result. Government CIOs must look around their offices and note any digital government transformation projects that have lost momentum or seem in danger of doing so. This is not the time to lose momentum, particularly as the delta variant acts as a potent reminder that the pandemic is not yet under control. Continuing digital government transformation efforts, supporting remote work, and allowing remote consultations with your constituents are all going to be important to slow the spread of any new virus variants while also meeting the new expectations of a post-COVID constituency.