How IT Can Lead Government Innovation

August 16, 2022 by Peter Friesen

How IT Can Lead Government Innovation

The humming heartbeat of a successful modern government entity is their IT department. This group keeps services running, supports sometimes antiquated computer systems, and empowers elected leaders and city staff to serve their communities. Technology isn’t always recognized as the best way to connect and transform those communities. But an integrated, cloud-based ERP system can improve business functionality, employee and constituent access, and IT efficiency. An integrated solution positions local governments to thrive, whatever the future may bring.

Adding Business Value

An integrated ERP solution brings the core applications that power government into a single system. This consolidation centralizes data and promotes easy file sharing and a user-friendly workflow. Cloud services offer flexible installation, less physical server space, and reduced maintenance costs. From the constituent view, satisfaction and engagement rises, as they see consistent landing pages and single sign-ons across multiple departments.

When switching from a legacy solution to an integrated, cloud-based solution, patience and planning is key. The project scope can seem huge, especially to department heads or elected leaders. But IT can lead the change through a well-planned implementation timeline dotted with staff trainings, so that adoption feels necessary and natural. It will be hard for employees to remember the old way once they’re properly set up for success.

Reducing IT Burden

Serving local governments can strain even the most well-equipped IT departments. Outdated legacy systems, and applications from multiple vendors, can mean tons of work for what should be simple problem-solving. This long-term pressure can lead to unexpected disruptions and issues, as many departments don’t have the resources they need.

Gartner identified insufficient funding, the number of capable IT resources, and change management as three of the top four challenges for IT departments in 2022. These issues are all lessened with a simpler, integrated ERP solution.

Automated processes, connected analytics and reporting, and easier training combine to streamline the work for IT departments. Cloud services allow for a malleable adoption timeline that suits the client, rather than lengthy physical installs. It also reduces maintenance costs, while keeping services online even during local emergencies or outages. Integration with common third-party applications is offered as well.

Integrated ERP eliminates the technological bridges between different solutions, lowering security risk and easing staff workload.

David Van Pelt, IT and business application supervisor for Encinitas, California, has meshed multiple solutions from the same provider over time, creating an integrated solution that all departments find easier to work with.

“You can have a smaller application portfolio so your staff isn’t stretched as thin as they might be when supporting separate applications that require specialized knowledge,” Van Pelt says. “Instead, all of your relevant staff can be comfortable with a single ERP solution, making it easier to support.”

Looking to the Future

More responsibility, in leadership and services provided, will continue to be expected of local governments. Offerings in open data, such as public budgets, emergency response, or public safety approach, are counted on in many cities. Efficient and consistent access, for employees and constituents, to everyday services like garbage collection, court dates, or vehicle registration are becoming the norm.

An integrated ERP system will not only bring government operations into the modern age, it will give governments tools for the future. Scalable growth, cloud-based reliability, and efficiency will change the way business is done, positioning your community for success.

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