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Gartner Post-Pandemic Government Digital Transformation Insights

Scott Dulman
August 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced government organizations to reassess their strategies, plans, and aspirations for digital transformation. Despite this uncertainty, IT leaders must quickly identify and act on strategies and plans that lead to positive outcomes. In many cases, governments will expand the role of digital technologies in service and program delivery.

Gartner offers government technology leaders options, through the use of scenario planning, to keep digital transformation moving forward. Read Gartner's Post-Pandemic Scenarios: The Future of Digital Government Transformation report to learn how to:

    • Mitigate risk and close performance gaps in applications and services that were quickly deployed during the crisis by conducting security and CX audits

    • Launch an agile automation program that uses RPA, iPaaS, iBPMS and low-code platforms to advance automation initiatives

    • Accelerate the adoption of new technologies and embrace digital transformation

Digital Government Transformation Strategic Themes and Challenges

Gartner uses scenario planning to explore the most common strategic themes and challenges underpinning digital government transformation. Gartner outlines the actions government technology leaders can take to reset and future-proof their digital transformation strategies and plans. The four most common strategic themes and challenges are:

    • Strategic alignment with government outcomes and priorities

    • Citizen service delivery improvements

    • The use of data and analytics for decision making

    • Improving the effectiveness of the government workforce

Gartner highlights IT leadership's importance in advancing digital transformation maturity. For many government IT leaders, the pandemic has changed their perspective on the role data and digital technologies can play in helping their organizations achieve their public purpose. Government CIOs should use scenario planning to identify, analyze and prioritize what will drive changes and assess their digital transformation area's ability to respond to those changes.

Many government organizations' approach to service and program delivery focuses on improving service delivery and shifting to be more citizen-centric. Government IT organizations are creating citizen experience (CX) management roles, digital product teams, and employing user experience (UX) techniques including journey mapping, persona development and A/Btesting. Gartner advises IT leaders to establish metrics for measuring the experience users have with digital services and establish continuous improvement benchmarks.

Data is at the heart of government digital transformation explains Gartner. Agencies are improving data sharing and seek data and analytics that reliably and accurately detect and predict shifts in risk, opportunity and outcomes. Gartner encourages IT leaders to embrace the fluidity of available data and analytics skills by managing a data-literate workforce and including external collaborators from whole-of-government data teams.

Digital government strategies should improve the productivity, safety and work-life balance, as well as the quality, of the services delivered by government organizations. Automation of repeatable tasks, augmenting the knowledge and capabilities of the workforce, and new training and development pathways help achieve this. Breaking down silos and improving connectivity across government is also important.

Key Takeaways for Government Technology Leaders

The pandemic has changed government leadership priorities, forcing the re-evaluation of digital transformation strategies and plans. The pandemic has driven some organizations to embrace digital transformation and accelerate the adoption of new technologies. In several scenarios, organizations will expand the role of digital government platforms.

Gartner advises Government CIOs leading the transition to digital government to assess all planned and in-progress, strategy-driven initiatives, and then choose to continue, suspend or cancel existing initiatives while identifying new opportunities. IT leaders should also advance automation progress within their organizations by launching an agile automation program that combines robotic process automation (RPA), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Intelligent Business Process Management Suites (iBPMS) and low-code platforms based on speed to value delivery.

"Government CIOs must advance automation and augmentation efforts by using a combination of RPA, iPaaS and iBPMS, based on time, cost and complexity elements of the available opportunities to determine which efforts to prioritize." - Gartner

Appian Digital Government Platform in the Post-COVID-19 World

A proven approach to successful government digital transformation is introducing low-code automation, DevSecOps, and Agile to build new applications that execute on top of legacy systems. This allows IT to be more responsive to rapidly changing needs and reduces technical debt while quickly delivering value, new services, and cost savings. Modernizing government technology with a low-code automation platform gives IT the power to accelerate digital transformation projects.

The Appian platform combines RPA and artificial intelligence (AI) with iBPMS, Application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS), and low-code development to deliver digital government initiatives with a high ROI. By adding Appian RPA and AI to their applications, government agencies can dramatically improve operational efficiency, citizen experience, and staff engagement.

Download the Gartner report to learn lessons and best practices from government IT leaders and Gartner experts. Visit Appian Government Solutions to discover how government organizations use low-code automation to improve and accelerate acquisition modernization, logistics and asset management, regulatory and statutory compliance, organization transformation, and citizen experience.