It’s been compared to the Industrial Revolution in its huge importance and far-reaching implications. Digital transformation is a megatrend affecting just about every organization today — and state and local government agencies and programs are no exception.

Although they may be at different stages in the digital transformation process, government organizations have many challenges in common and can solve them using a common set of advanced technologies: virtualization, cloud, software-first networking, enterprise file sharing and mobility management.

This blog series will discuss digital transformation challenges that center on rapidly, securely, and efficiently delivering and accessing government services, resources and information. It will present digital solutions that are being used successfully by state and local agencies and programs to meet these challenges and explain how and why they work.

A fundamental advantage of these technologies, as you’ll see, is their adaptability to a wide range of scenarios. They can meet the needs of government organizations with different objectives, locations, constituencies, workers, geographical scope and more. But flexibility is just the beginning – these solutions also help you control costs, increase efficiency and security, and boost satisfaction among your employees and the public.

Why digital transformation?

Although definitions may vary, digital transformation can be described briefly as “the reinvention of an organization through the use of digital technology to improve the way it performs and serves its constituents.”

So, the emphasis is on digital technology, not as an end in itself, but rather as a tool to change traditional operations and processes so the organization can do a better job of meeting its goals and fulfilling its mission.

Digital transformation is being propelled by a number of factors. One is a fundamental change in the ways people prefer to work and to interact with businesses and government entities. Operative words include mobile devices, wireless connectivity and social media. Another factor is the emergence of powerful new technology trends, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, cybersecurity and cloud.

In practical terms, why should a government organization pursue digital transformation?

  • Citizens want to conduct business on their smartphones, tablets, or the web, not stand in line at the DMV office for hours to renew their vehicle registration, for example.
  • Social workers, sheriff’s deputies, public works engineers, and other field employees want better access to information, and to have the ability to fill out and submit forms and reports on site, instead of traveling to the office to access the IT system.
  • Teams involved in cross-agency collaboration want to access and share data and records from the other organizations electronically, without compromising security.
  • Government agencies facing staffing and budget constraints are looking for new alternatives to time-consuming, labor-intensive IT infrastructure installed and maintained on premises.
  • Escalating cyber-threats require innovative safeguards for government data – while preserving employee and citizen access.

And the list goes on. In all these cases and many more, digital technologies offer the organization an opportunity to radically change its processes, workflows and communications — not just its IT system — to meet the demands of workers and constituents.

To date, there have been a number of digital transformation initiatives in the public sector. Among the most notable is the Smart Cities movement – an effort to use technology to streamline municipal functions from optimizing street lighting to automating waste collection to supplying mobile apps for citizen transactions.

Governments are also looking at how to evaluate the ever-changing technology landscape to determine what technologies make sense to adopt. North Carolina has established the Innovation Center (iCenter) with the mission: “Interacting with government should be as consumer-friendly and cost-effective as checking the latest scores or shopping on a smartphone.”

What are the benefits?

Virtualization, networking, mobility management, enterprise file sharing and cloud solutions from Citrix can empower state and local governments to implement digital transformation initiatives that deliver major improvements:

  • Enhanced citizen engagement and streamlined services delivery
  • Increased efficiency and productivity of the workforce
  • Cost reduction
  • Improved recruitment and retention of the next generation of workers
  • Stronger security and regulatory compliance

Stay tuned for the next post on digital transformation in state and local government, which will dive into solutions that “consumerize” citizen engagement.

For more information, visit our Government Briefing Center and explore through a self-led, virtual experience how Citrix is helping drive digital transformation in government.