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Applications the Next Phase of Innovation in e-Government

Joshua Hoffman
January 15, 2016

The public sector has been transforming into a digital entity for decades, and this gradual shift to embrace e-government has evolved to a phase where applications and APIs are central to operations.

There are a few challenges that come with supporting an influx of government apps, but two of the greatest are dealt with through business process management software. These challenges include finding IT capacity to develop new apps and aligning those solutions with everyday process requirements. BPM tools let government bodies overcome both of these issues through low-code app development interfaces that make it easy for non-tech users to create apps that align with operational workflows.

Taking e-government to another level through apps

A recent Government Technology report explained that e-government has always been about using digital tools to take isolated data sets and connect them across disparate user groups. The API revolution underway in the public sector can connect data across multiple app environments to create a better end-user experience. In government, this means that the people providing public services have access to the information they need, when they need it.

"Data is only valuable when it is put in the right context."

At this stage in the e-government revolution, plenty of stakeholders are using APIs to streamline operations - be they proprietary government APIs or widely available public APIs. What is lacking, according to the news source, is a layer of APIs that work in the middle of these solutions, giving the public access to direct interactions with the government. Moving forward, this type of application innovation will help people get work done with the government quickly and efficiently without having to jump through unnecessary bureaucratic hoops.

Apps and APIs central to e-government

Data is only valuable when it is put in the right context. APIs can gather data from disparate sources and apps can organize that data so users can make sense of it. However, government IT departments rarely have the resources to develop apps and integrate APIs at the rate needed to keep up with operational requirements. At the same time, public sector IT teams are not always in the best position to align apps with functional demands because their work is siloed in the data center.

Giving non-tech users the ability to create apps and integrate APIs into those solutions ensures that data doesn't just get to the right place, but is also placed in the right procedural context. Application development platforms built into BPM software make this possible and can drive the innovation needed to take e-government to another level.