Why Your Government Should Adopt a Paperless Solution
Digitization has been growing continuously in every industry. It’s safe to say that technology is here to stay, and for good reason. Technology gives every industry, including municipal governments, a competitive edge. Software solutions provide new and improved ways for governments to receive, store, secure and manage data. The general public has also recognized that their governments could better utilize technology to improve their processes and access to data.
Unfortunately, due to longer procurement cycles and spending constraints, governmental entities are better known for bureaucracy and outdated technology than they are for innovation. The fact that governments manage systems and operations that serve hundreds or thousands of citizens warrants the need for governments to make it a priority to know how they can get up to speed to better use technology to improve communication, reduce costs, enhance efficiency and improve citizen relationships.
Most governments are interested in increasing citizen engagement. Technology can help create transparency, which strengthens the public’s trust in government.
Benefits of Technology
Applications and paperwork abound in government offices. In many respects, documentation is necessary for accountability. Manual and paper processes are prone to errors. They’re also notoriously slower than software solutions. While governments are collecting data every day, much of it gets siloed into different departments. As a result, departments lose track of data, or for various reasons, they just don’t share it with other departments that could use the same information.
Municipal governments can use the right data to gain insight into processes and constituency behaviors. Software solution providers can design systems so that government staff can locate various types of data and pull it into different departmental systems and use it in various ways. This is how data becomes usable for multiple purposes while reducing costs and creating efficiency.
Why Your Government Should Adopt a Paperless Solution
Software solutions bring many useful benefits to municipalities. Electronic programs streamline data entry processes and speed up the entire business process. This equates to fewer hours spent on processing forms, which frees up government staff to attend to more important duties and responsibilities. Using paperless solutions, employees will reduce errors, experience better workflows, provide faster responses and attain better outcomes.
Citizens will appreciate the convenience of being able to access some information online using a civic web portal. Software solutions for civic engagement are mobile-friendly and search-friendly, saving government staff from having to track down council meeting minutes, applications, reports and other information.
Software solutions also make it possible for municipalities to have reliable backup for important documents, as it gives them the ability to store documents safely and securely in the cloud.
Taking the First Steps Toward Paperless Solutions
One of the first things that governments need to look at in taking the initial steps toward paperless solutions is how they can align their goals for digital transformation with the government’s overall priorities. The best way to do this is by asking for a consultation with iCompass, the leading source for government software solutions. iCompass can custom-design a program for governments so they can eliminate manual tasks, access information at their fingertips, engage more citizens, make better decisions and reduce operating costs. iCompass has many solutions for governments for managing agendas, meetings, boards and records, as well as citizen apps such as a mobile-friendly civic web portal.
Another thing that municipalities need to do is to form a process for regularly evaluating their digital programs, so they can make adjustments as their needs change.
Electronic apps that are citizen-oriented provide the ease and convenience for the public to access government information using mobile devices. Governments can strive to meet their citizens online by providing mobile access to government documents and other information. The Making Mobile Gov Project is a new project offered by the General Services Administration to “make government available anytime, anywhere on any device today and tomorrow.”
The goal of the Making Mobile Gov project is to educate governments on how to make wise decisions about using mobile technology and utilizing cross-agency strategies to take advantage of mobile-friendly citizen apps. Another one of their goals is to serve as an online resource where government staff can share information, policies, challenges, technology and innovations to improve mobile efforts. Mobile applications will make it possible for citizens to have access to programs that they couldn’t previously obtain on their own.
The Mobile Gov Community was designed to be a resource for governments where they can learn about online discussion tools, social media and other technological solutions so they can gain knowledge, information and experience to share with their department heads and keep them updated on the latest trends.
Electronic Records Management Systems Automate Retention Schedules
Governments must follow their established rules and procedures for filing, storing and destroying documents. These rules require staff to meet compliance and retention requirements. As new laws and regulations emerge, government staff must adapt and adjust their records management systems and processing workflows to remain in compliance.
Making changes within already complex paper workflow processes can be complex and difficult. Digitization of records management makes it easy to adjust programs to meet the new regulations. Many of the processes can be automated to make things even easier.
With storing thousands of documents and numerous files onsite at government locations, paper documents may be subject to the elements. Fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters can easily destroy buildings or the documents being stored inside them.
Paperless solutions use cloud-based systems with robust security, such as data encryption and two-factor authentication, to make sure that government data remains safe and confidential.
Final Notes on Why Your Government Should Adopt a Paperless Solution
According to McKinsey, government analysts believe that governments could save more than $1 trillion annually on a global level by changing to digital processes wherever they reasonably can. Some governments have sought innovative ways of gaining tech talent for their agencies, such as offering short-term fellowship or internship programs.
Switching to paperless solutions may be daunting in the beginning, but the benefits are valuable enough for municipalities to work with an industry expert like iCompass and explore the possibilities.