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6 Ways Local Government Automation Can Transform the Citizen Experience

Vishal Hanjan, Regional Vice President
May 20, 2024

Local governments aim to serve the needs of their communities by fostering a safe, prosperous, and vibrant environment where residents and businesses can thrive. But too often, inefficient processes and manual, paper-based tasks consume valuable time and resources. This leads to delays, errors, and inconsistencies in the delivery of essential services, eroding citizen satisfaction and trust.

Automated processes can transform local governments. By embracing automation, local governments can streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and improve the citizen experience. Automation enables governments to modernize outdated systems, eliminate manual tasks, and leverage data-driven insights to make informed decisions. Ultimately, the goal is to create more responsive, transparent, and citizen-centric administrations that can effectively meet the evolving needs of their communities while maximizing the use of taxpayer resources.

Why many local governments haven't made the switch to process automation

Automated systems can certainly improve service delivery and data sharing and optimize efficiency. So why haven’t more local governments undergone broad digital transformation? 

In many cases, it’s due to broader issues in their organizational ecosystem that make adopting new technology difficult. Here are some of the key reasons local government agencies continue relying on manual processes:

  • Legacy systems and siloed infrastructure. Organizations rely on manual processes due to the lack of interoperability and integration between disparate systems, necessitating manual data entry, duplication of efforts, and inefficient workflows.

  • Complex regulatory requirements. Local governments often need to comply with a multitude of regulations and mandates, which require human oversight and intervention for accurate interpretation and implementation.

  • Limited resources. Local governments frequently operate under budget constraints and staffing limitations, which can impact their ability to invest in technology upgrades and process improvements. Limited resources may also lead to understaffing or overworked employees, further exacerbating inefficiencies.

  • Resistance to change. Employees may be hesitant to adopt new technologies or workflows, fearing job displacement or unfamiliarity with new systems.

The ironic part is, a platform for process automation can alleviate the precise issues that are stopping them from switching! A process automation platform can de-silo government ecosystems by connecting legacy systems, automating regulatory compliance, and allowing the organization to do more with less.

Learn more about leveraging leading technology to improve government service delivery and the citizen experience. Read the guide, Modernization in State and Local Governments.

6 local government automation use cases

Process automation can enhance service delivery and streamline interactions between citizens and their local government. By automating routine tasks such as form submissions, data entry, and approvals, local governments can free up staff to focus on more value-added activities. Automation enhances transparency and accessibility by digitizing records and providing online self-service options, empowering citizens to access services more conveniently and reducing administrative burdens for both residents and government employees. 

Here are some examples of common process automation use cases in local government, leading the charge to digital transformation:

1. Licensing and permitting

Residents and businesses apply for permits, licenses, and approvals electronically, reducing paperwork and processing times. Citizens can submit applications, track the status of their requests, and receive notifications, improving transparency and convenience.

2. Procuring goods and services

An automated eProcurement system streamlines government procurement processes by digitizing workflows, facilitating vendor management, and ensuring compliance with regulations. This automation enhances transparency, reduces administrative burden, and improves cost savings, ultimately enabling governments to make more informed purchasing decisions and better serve their constituents.

Learn how state and local organizations are unifying and automating all aspects of the procurement process. Watch the fireside chat.

3. Online service requests

Providing citizens with a centralized platform or mobile app to report issues such as potholes, streetlight outages, or graffiti enables faster response times and efficient resolution of service requests. Automated workflows route requests to the appropriate department and facilitate communication with residents regarding the status of their reports.

Learn more about secure web portals that are fast and easy to build, and let every user—whether customer, partner, citizen, supplier, or something else— connect to your workflows without a login.

4. Digital payments

Offering integrations to online payment options for taxes, utility bills, parking citations, and other fees simplifies the payment process for citizens and reduces the need for in-person transactions. Automated payment systems can securely process transactions, generate receipts, and integrate with existing financial systems for seamless record-keeping.

5. Data analytics for decision-making

Data analytics tools and AI algorithms can help local governments identify trends, forecast demand, and optimize resource allocation for improved service delivery. Automated data analysis enables evidence-based decision-making and proactive planning, leading to more efficient use of taxpayer resources.

6. Citizen engagement

Implementing online forums, surveys, and feedback mechanisms empowers citizens to participate in decision-making processes and provide input on local government initiatives. Automated engagement platforms can aggregate feedback, analyze sentiment, and generate actionable insights to inform policy decisions and service improvements.

These are just a few of the diverse ways automation technologies can positively impact the citizen experience, making interactions with local government more convenient, efficient, and transparent.

Learn more about how you can modernize and automate local government processes to improve service delivery, transparency, and communication.