In a context where the Private Sector is having a great influence on all of us, expectations are rising and we expect to have the same capabilities as citizens, businesses, or public employees in the Public Sector. In this context, Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) are now Government Transformation Enablers. Taking advantage of modern platforms is crucial for Public Administrations to offer the expected services and information as well as to improve at the same rate as technology is evolving.
Talking about digital transformation entails a series of specific challenges when we talk about the Public Sector. In addition to the influence of easy experiences from the private sector, who is not constrained by the typical bureaucracy of government work, the public sector also adds the challenge of large and diverse audiences from citizens to businesses to public employees.
According to a recent Accenture study people want more digital interaction with their respective governments, increasing from 29% to 39% in just the last two years. However, more than half of the respondents (53%) said accessing public services is frustrating and only one-third (36%) find government processes and interactions intuitive.
It is a great challenge and raises the importance of finding products, platforms, and allies that allow the Public Sector to evolve. But, how do we evolve to the expected experiences our audiences demand?
Let’s go into details about how Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) overcome the different challenges that the Public Sector faces. Not all DXPs provide the same capabilities so we’ll cover the most important capabilities to look for.
10 Key Capabilities for a Digital Public Sector
What are the critical capabilities in a platform that enables improving the overall experience for citizens, businesses, and government workers?
The capabilities we identify as critical for the digital evolution of governments are aimed at increasing employee efficiency, while optimizing the investment already made.
1. Multisite Capability: Creating Different Sites on the Same Platform
Although this functionality may seem basic, it is much more important than we think. Multi-site capability allows you to rapidly create the solution you need and lay the foundation to grow and develop in an agile, stable, and sustained way for any future projects.
Whether you need to create sites for different government entities or to create different solutions such as intranets, public websites, citizen portals, having it all on the same platform provides the following benefits:
2. A Single Management Point for Reducing IT Complexity
IT Departments obviously have a crucial role in an organization’s digital evolution. Companies allocate significant portions of their budget towards IT spend because the viability of current operations depends on that. Having tools that allow IT employees to be freed up to dedicate their time to higher value tasks is key to providing added value. Therefore, prioritizing the reduction of tech stack complexity is vital so IT resources can be used for strategic tasks.
One major obstacle to increasing the productivity of IT teams lies in the need to manage different systems, each of them with a totally different configuration. Therefore, platform management should be simple and straightforward. Administrators need to be able to configure the complete platform through the UI: users, roles, integration with different Single Sign-On (SSO) providers, repositories of documents, and so on. Reducing complexity by unifying management on a single platform saves time and money every single day that platform is in use.
3. Agile Deployment of Custom Digital Solutions
A large part of transforming in the public sector is the iterative process of digitizing the services that a public entity offers to its citizens and businesses, while giving government workers the capability to manage these services at a much greater scale. For this purpose, it is necessary to have pre-built features provided in a platform, such as tools like forms, workflows, webhooks, actions, automatic notifications, in order to minimize the cost and the effort to build a custom solution.
The great challenge is to achieve this without losing quality in the applications development process, and benefiting from the class-leading capabilities in the market. To reach this goal, maintaining a low-code/no-code approach will be crucial. Now, let’s see why.
4. Low-code/No-code: Empowering Non-IT Users
In addition to the challenges mentioned above, tight budgets and talent shortages are common obstacles to public sector organizations around the world. And low-code/no-code solutions help you to overcome these challenges through high-speed application delivery and rapid customization.
Low-code/no-code solutions can reduce development time by up to 90%.
The Public Sector needs to empower non-technical users by providing capabilities to create content, websites, and landing pages without relying on IT support. Creating a page should be easy with drag and drop components. Moreover, business users need to be able to add structured content such as news, blog posts, knowledge base articles, events, etc.
The more components we have to create a page, the more options we have to create what we want. Some examples of this are announcements, forms, blogs, search and a huge stack of capabilities.
When creating a web content, it is valuable in terms of productivity to have Out Of The Box (OOTB) tools that improve the user experience while increasing productivity under the hood, for example:
Additionally, site templates are essential for creating similar sites in seconds. It is important to have default templates in a DXP as well as the option to create tailor-made site templates.
5. Self-Service as a Strategic Approach
Self-service empowers citizens and businesses to complete any transaction, normally done on paper or in person, via a digital channel: update profiles, find documentation, find the information, or request services.
40% of consumers now prefer self-service over in-person service. Having a tool with search capabilities, forms, workflows, responsive displays, as well as omnichannel and user-friendly- experiences will be key to achieving this. And, in the online world, 73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website, instead of using social media, SMS and live chat for support.
Being able to provide information correctly, with easy access and through clear processes can mean an unmatched operational efficiency. In addition, it can bring many benefits in the short term, such as cost savings and increased productivity by reducing the volume of calls and appointments in the different citizen service centers.
6. Commerce Capabilities
Additionally, in order to offer the full range of digital services to citizens, it is necessary to empower them to carry out payment transactions online which makes integrated commerce solutions a valuable addition to a platform. These commerce solutions include the ability to offer tickets for events, subscribe to utilities, pay for services, or pay a fine. Modern commerce capabilities reduce overhead processing costs and improve experience for your citizens and businesses.
7. Personalization at Scale
The public sector is often many steps behind the Private Sector when we speak about personalized experience. Delivering personalized digital experiences to your users, whether citizens, businesses, or public sector employees, makes your platform much more relevant and rewarding to your audience. This allows you to offer the experiences that are not only needed to help you grow but also expected by your users.
All of this can be delivered with a personalized experience for each segment of users. Faced with a context in which information is overwhelming or inconsistent each user sees what is of individual interest. For example: specific service announcements for a citizen, available applications for a city hall officer, suggested similar content based on what a visitor is viewing, help with the completion of forms when a user finds it too complex, among others. Learning and adapting to your user behavior and feedback is especially valuable nowadays.
8. Class-Leading Integration
Integration as a means to break down silos is a must for any public sector organization. Having a flexible platform that can integrate with anything provides options when bridging new technology to your existing IT ecosystem. This is critical when creating modern experiences that bring all data and services into a common portal for the best user experience.
And it is not a minor matter: 80% of government IT spending is on operating and maintaining legacy systems. This can’t be replaced overnight. But as it is, it can not provide the experiences that your users need.
Connecting modern and legacy systems is key in a context where data is fragmented or incomplete. If offered an integrated portal, 51% of citizens say they would increase their use of government services. A fully integrated IT environment allows you to build modern experiences on top of legacy tech that previously held you back.
9. Cloud as a Means to Reduce Costs While Fueling Innovation
83% of public service agency leaders agree or strongly agree that cloud is essential to fuel innovation and new business models. In uncertain times, optimizing costs, being results-focused, developing resilience, and having flexibility are a must. Cloud environments present great advantages providing innovation to both governments and citizens.
Adopting cloud solutions allows savings in infrastructure because you spend less than you would on hardware and personnel to maintain on premise applications.. Thus, resources are freed to provide added value and be invested in innovative digital solutions that citizens expect and need. With less demand on your IT team, they can focus on delivering more value and reducing time-to-market of new solutions.
This results in citizens receiving service adapted to their needs and fulfilling their expectations.
So, as we’ve seen, migration to the cloud is driven by three objectives: increased citizen value, faster time-to-market for new services, and resource savings.
Although the sector has been one of the last to join this trend, according to Gartner, 62% of Governments will invest in Cloud Platforms in 2023.
10. Analytics: Monitor to Improve
Delivering personalized experiences is one of the top priorities for the Public Sector in order to lower costs while also improving citizen experience. But what do we need in order to design and optimize these personalized experiences?
We need user information gathered by monitoring their site activity such as navigation path, form fills, or process completion. On top of that, there is additional information that can be obtained through robust analytics platforms like the one included in Liferay DXP. These include a complete analytical view at the site, page, and asset levels which can provide additional data points to segment users and personalize their experiences, whether they are known or anonymous.
Public administrations have the great responsibility of creating a solid technology strategy for digital transformation. Success requires a technology partner that enables you to transform the day-to-day life of citizens, businesses, and public employees, while taking advantage of the existing legacy tech stack and employee knowledge. In addition, the ideal technological partner must also be able to provide and support a continuous and stable evolution.