As a new calendar year approaches, public sector CIOs and IT leaders are preparing for another year of change in their technology stack and its role in accomplishing their mission. The last two years have brought immense change and shifting imperatives to the public sector. Perhaps one of the most impactful is the drastic acceleration of digitization initiatives.
Known for over-reliance on manual processes and outdated technology, government organizations facing the unprecedented reality of long-term remote work now treat agility and modernization as a top priority, rather than as a nice-to-have. And for good reason: 77% of government agencies said that digital transformation initiatives pushed during the pandemic are already having a positive impact on their organization, according to a recent study by Deloitte.
To keep this momentum going, government organizations will have to continue reprioritizing their ever-shifting list of technology efforts. Based on conversations and dialogue among government IT leaders at Appian Government, trends in both the commercial and public sectors, and overall technological development, here are four predictions for public sector technology in 2022.
This isn’t the most original prediction, as Gartner anticipates the same, but it is nearly a sure bet. With innovation comes investment. Government organizations need more funds to accommodate the push to digitize technology. For years, government organizations have followed the old adage, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” That is, until the global health crisis shifted workers to home offices and constituent demands and needs arose at an improbable scale.
The global impact of the pandemic has government leadership around the world recognizing the importance of becoming digital-first. Economic stimulus funding has already driven digital acceleration in many countries, and this increased funding should continue to support the technology driving rapid change to meet constituent needs.
Before investing in technology that improves the digital stature of a government organization, it’s important to first know where in the workflow they fall short or experience issues. Internal and external collaboration is a huge dependency for getting work done at government organizations.
Traditional process discovery requires extensive manual analysis, which can be time-consuming, error-prone, and potentially costly to an organization. But with process mining, government organizations gain insight into their workflow blockers and gaps quickly. Process mining tools gather and interpret process data and present it in a visualization resembling a flow chart, which clearly shows the entire process, including any skipped or added process steps or paths. This visual format provides a view similar to an x-ray and can be used to identify issues with ease.
Process mining is likely to be a top priority for government organizations in 2022 to precisely identify inefficiencies and make more informed decisions when taking steps to improve workflows and processes.
Controlling costs is important for government organizations, just as it is for the commercial sector. Rather than do away with the technology they already use and rely on, we should expect to continue the trend of maximizing return on investment in existing tech stacks. Integrating low-code technology is a great way to do this. Low-code platforms today are used by government organizations across all levels to unify and extend their existing applications and bring data and workflows into a single solution.
Low-code platforms give government organizations the flexibility to create their own applications that solve their unique problems with technology like robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, and more. By integrating data from disparate applications into one interface, mission-critical data is more available and staff spend less time navigating between solutions and more time on the missions at hand. With this technology at their disposal, they can feel confident to make better-informed decisions. Low-code will drive government organizations’ digitization initiatives forward in 2022.
For US government organizations, the recent federal mandate and efforts to return to onsite work mean an increased need for tracking employee vaccine status, COVID-19 history, onsite working permissions, and more. This also applies to organizations that contract or subcontract for the US federal government. Organizations will need to account for individual health and risk screenings for onsite employees, vaccination tracking, contact tracing, shift management, corporate policies, and the feasibility of remote work. To simplify this process, organizations should consider a solution to manage workforce readiness.
Reporting on this data to prove compliance will be critical for government organizations. Appian Workforce Safety provides a unified, automated, and flexible approach for safely returning to onsite work and adjusting onsite operations based on workforce vaccination status data. The unified response hub gives administrators real-time capabilities to track employee health and vaccination insights, monitor incidents and contact tracing across facilities, automate return-to-work authorizations, and comply with company policies and government regulations.
As the virus evolves and public health requirements do too, government organizations can rely on a solution like Workforce Safety to manage essential employee info, helping ensure a safe return to in-person operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed government organizations into the reality of needing connected, digital-first processes. In 2022, those efforts are sure to continue. A boost in budget will open opportunities for government CIOs to invest in technology that delivers robust automation and process management benefits. With a unified low-code platform, the public sector will improve digital experiences for both staff and constituents alike.