How to Transform Government in Four Key Areas

May 28, 2019 by Meredith Trimble

How to Transform Government in Four Key Areas

One of government’s biggest challenges today is the continued existence of data silos. These silos lock valuable information behind a handful of gatekeepers and prevent the easy access necessary for actionable insight.

Without the full picture of data, resources can be allocated by anecdote, not fact. True performance measures, accurate succession planning, and meaningful citizen engagement are not realized. Government may not be broken, but neither is it strategically using data – an abundant resource already at hand – to streamline operations, lower costs, or innovate to solve some of societies greatest issues.

The key to creating sustainably healthy, vibrant, and safe communities is to continue to break down silos and “think big,” as Lynn Moore, Tyler’s president and CEO, challenged clients to do at Connect in April.

With data as the fuel, Tyler’s Connected Communities Vision is becoming the reality as people, departments, agencies, and jurisdictions connect and seamlessly share information and processes. Local governments can deliver on the promise of Connected Communities by breaking down silos to create the connections necessary for continued evolution and innovation. Any strategy to break down public sector silos must address the four key areas of government interaction:

1. Operations

Breaking down operational silos begins with empowering staff from the back office to the front lines with the best applications for their daily work. First responders, for example, have equipment designed specifically for their roles. Often, this equipment has been refined over many years to ensure optimal effectiveness and efficiency. Adopting role-based applications that are purpose-built for the front lines and back-office makes each role more efficient, more mobile, and more specialized. Solutions such as New World ShieldForce™, for example, provide enhanced safety and situational awareness to officers in the field through an app.

2. Data

Government leaders need current, accurate information for smart decisions. Interacting with data helps decision-makers fully understand what’s working and what’s not. When all the systems of record are pulled into one, centralized location in the cloud, challenges with data silos are mitigated. AI and machine learning further help to contextualize data, identify commonalities, and recognize patterns. These patterns provide insight so we can ask – and answer – questions such as, “what’s working to address homelessness?”

The City of Austin, Texas, for example, analyzed the data from more than 20 departments involved with or impacted by homelessness to assess who was spending what, where, and when. Better insight led to a new action plan that pooled resources for their highest and best use.

L.A. County’s Neighborhood Data for Social Change connects residents with nonprofits and community programs to improve policy and create social change. In New York, Rentlogic uses government data to rate rentals and protect consumers.

3. Partners

Governments work with agencies and departments across the hall, down the street, and even in other jurisdictions to get things done. Sharing information and facilitating processes across agencies breaks down silos that create obstacles and slow down results.

Breaking down silos that separate natural partners is akin to team building. Governments can build teams around agencies and jurisdictions engaged in pursuit of similar, high-level objectives. In technology, the equivalent of a team is a suite, like Microsoft’s office suite. Adopting software product suites that integrate along process communities and interact with each other out of the box can provide early returns on investment.

Aligned communities can be courts and justice with public safety agencies, or all entities engaged in the land development lifecycle. A public administration community connects ERP and civic services data and processes to create transparency and strengthen workflow across an organization.

Tyler Nexus, for example, is an inter-community platform that connects the core functions of local government: appraisal, tax collections, records, community development, utility billing, asset maintenance, finance, administration, and schools.

Tyler Alliance brings dispatch operators, police on patrol, fire departments, emergency services, court clerks, trial judges, prosecutors, corrections staff, and probation officers together.

4. Public

Breaking down silos that separate government from those it serves provides ways for citizens to engage with agencies and consume information that is relevant to them. Connections with the public also help governments better deliver essential resident services. Citizen-facing open data platforms, dashboards with visualizations, and customizable mobile experiences allow residents to become part of the government process.

Little Rock, Arkansas, allows residents to enter and track requests for city services online. The Citizen Connect Portal contains 311 requests, crime data, planning permits, and Housing and neighborhood program information in one place with simple navigation. In Mobile, Alabama, Build Mobile offers a new level of customer self-service. Solutions such as MyCivic allow citizens to become part of the government process in a customizable mobile experience.

Investing in these areas of government work and interaction with data is key to overcoming the challenges silos create. The resulting connections harness data through modern technology to share across boundaries, automate processes, streamline operations, and improve communities. They transform government to be more efficient and capable in a context of reduced resources, while ensuring sustainable success in the digital era. 

Related Content