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Survey Says: Digital Government Still a Struggle

Ben Farrell
April 14, 2015

The Federal Government has a history of fostering innovation and ultimately delivering it to the private sector for commercialization. Breakthroughs originating at NASA, within the DoD, and from other agencies - from the Global Positioning System (GPS) to Memory Foam pillows - are now taken for granted. Government has played a role in evolving our personal and consumer lives into the 21st Century.

The irony is that government agencies are struggling to keep pace in terms of the way theyconduct their own work.Agenciesgenerally rely on rigid and inflexible Information Technology to conduct their missions and deliver services to citizens.

We recently partnered with GovLoop for a survey of public-sector professionals (IT and business) to identify the goals and common hurdles in achieving government digital business transformation.

The data reveals something fundamental: traditional application development approaches are dead. Or at least they need to be if government agencies are to achieve the digital evolution goals mandated by the Administration, desired by government employees and expected by citizens.

60 percent of survey respondents say they still lack the modern business functionality they need in their software applications. In 2014, O&M consumed upwards of 75 percent of government agency IT budgets. There's an obvious disconnect. What's required to fix the situation is the creation and delivery of a staggering number of truly 21st Century digital business software applications across every government agency. Under the current structure of how government IT operates, such an influx of innovation is simply not possible. Public-sector IT teams are carrying too much technical debt in the face of shrinking budgets to ever get ahead.

Government employees remain tied to desktop workstations, limiting their productivity. They must wade through siloed data stored across disparate applications and interfaces, hampering efficiency and making it nearly impossible for them to be fully and accurately informed when making decisions. They have limited collaborative capabilities, barring them from taking advantage of insights available from their subject-matter-expert peers. Consequently, there are high volumes of repetitive work, unstructured process work-arounds conducted through email and phone calls, uninformed decisions and responses to queries, and lots of re-keying of data from one system into another (a primary source of data errors).

The GovLoop survey shows that to meet the complex demands of public-sector missions, IT organizations must explore new models for delivering innovative business apps more quickly, and at lower cost. This will allow their agencies to be more efficient and effective in public-sector mission attainment and service delivery.

Read our new white paper to learn how Appian's BPM-based Application Platform does precisely that, accelerating the infusion of innovation throughout an agency while also reducing development cost and increasing application flexibility and extensibility.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications