Number 5 on NASCIO’s State CIO Top Ten Policy and Technology Priorities for 2017 is legacy modernization.

While this item relates directly to replacing or renovating older or obsolescent IT systems, it can also be viewed more broadly as the need to modernize traditional ways of interacting with citizens. For example,

  • Letting people fill out and submit forms and applications online, through a secure, self-service portal, instead of mailing them in – or worse, standing in line to hand them in.
  • Creating a single digital identity so citizens can access government services without the complexity of separate logon processes for each one, as Australia is doing.
  • Making data more easily available and consumable, which is the goal of the Open Data
  • Focusing on direct assistance to citizens by giving field workers the ability to complete reports or access information on the spot – at a client’s home or the scene of a traffic accident – instead of waiting until they return to the office.

Digital technologies play an important role in modernizing legacy processes for delivering and accessing services and resources. Many state and local government entities are implementing or evaluating application virtualization, software-first networking, enterprise file sharing and mobility management solutions to improve the citizen experience.

Turning citizens into customers

In today’s world of online, on-demand shopping, banking, education, trip planning and much more, citizens are no longer willing to accept the status quo when interacting with state and local government agencies and programs.

  • They want multiple choices for transacting business and obtaining information: mobile apps, web portals, electronic file sharing.
  • They want greater freedom from government-imposed limitations — specific office locations, days and times – and dread waiting in line in person or on the phone.
  • At a high level, they demand more control over the entire experience of engaging with government entities, including self-service options.

In other words, they want to be treated like customers.

Transforming the service experience

The digital transformation megatrend is prompting government organizations to radically change the ways they deliver services to citizens. Using new technologies, they are striving to minimize red tape and delays, raise service levels and improve decision making with on-demand information access, and increase public confidence and trust.

As a key part of transforming operational procedures, state and local governments also aim to increase worker efficiency and optimize scarce budget dollars.

Solutions from Citrix are helping to improve citizens’ experience and satisfaction with government services and resources. These technologies also advance other goals of digital transformation, including higher worker productivity, stronger security, easier scalability and lower costs.

  • App and desktop delivery with XenApp and XenDesktop: Applications, desktops and data are delivered virtually over the network to remote and mobile government workers located anywhere, so they immediately have the tools and information they need to serve citizens promptly and effectively. Citrix solutions work with just about any type of device and network connection. To strengthen security, apps, desktops and data remain in the datacenter, behind the firewall ­­– not exposed on the end device.

Case example – State Department of Corrections. Centralized delivery of applications such as the electronic law library from LexisNexis makes it less expensive and easier to give prison inmates required access to legal documents and educational classes. Inmates receive a standard set of applications delivered from the datacenter, and the department no longer must maintain individual, decentralized labs or libraries. Read the blog.

  • Enterprise file sharing with ShareFile: Governments have always run on paper, but handling, transmitting and sharing documents in traditional ways can be a prime source of frustration for citizens and a drain on worker productivity. The ability to securely share files electronically can minimize or eliminate labor-intensive processes such as printing and faxing or mailing documents.

Case example – State Hospitals. An important success factor in quality care and patient satisfaction is access to up-to-date and complete medical information at the point of care. State hospitals often have difficulty sharing large files such as CAT scans and X-rays while complying with regulations covering personal health information. With ShareFile, healthcare employees can send files up to 100GB in size while meeting HIPAA compliance requirements. Read the blog post.

  • Web optimization with NetScaler: Government websites often experience usage peaks and valleys. A public emergency, a major accident or a new program typically bring hordes of visitors to the site. Regardless, citizens expect to access your website without worrying about slow performance or downtime. Networking optimization technology from Citrix – such as global server load balancing, caching and compression – help you maintain near-perfect uptime and performance so citizens can access the information they need.

Case example – Department of Transportation. Citizens in Washington State rely on the DOT’s public-facing website for travel information, especially during events such as a snow emergency. To ensure continuous uptime and high performance, even during huge usage spikes, the DOT implemented NetScaler, which provides fast, seamless scalability – and other features such as securing online transactions for ferry reservations. Check out the case study.

  • Mobilizing the agency workforce with XenMobile: One important way that digital transformation is changing government/citizen engagement is by flipping the traditional model. Instead of asking people to come to the government, the agency goes to the citizens – wherever they are. XenMobile, which provides mobile app, device and content management, is critical to retain control and protection over resources in the field.

Case example – Housing Authority. Serving citizens who occupy public housing calls for being onsite to evaluate and fix problems quickly. Ohio’s Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority adopted XenMobile to manage the mobile devices and apps used by staff when showing apartments, making repairs and addressing residents’ concerns. Read the case study.

The next blog on digital transformation in state and local government will focus on IT solutions that help stretch your budget through higher productivity and lower costs.

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.