Public Sector

The ‘low code revolution’ is improving service delivery in Public Sector

In 2020, five years’ worth of digital adoption for citizens and businesses happened in about eight weeks. Government agencies worldwide were able to pivot to 100% digital services in a matter of days, a level of public-sector agility and innovation never seen before. As the world works to put the pandemic behind us, how do governments build upon this momentum?

The massive increase in demand for digital citizen services along with the trend to remote work and the need for increased inter-agency collaboration to ensure rapid and effective service delivery are forces driving change. The result is a permanent shift in both operating models and citizen expectations.

Rapid delivery and heightened effectiveness of new digital systems will enable governments to accommodate these shifts going forward. However, many of the weaknesses within government systems remain as reliance on legacy and outdated technology continues. Gartner® estimates that by 2023, more than 60% of governments will have tripled citizen digital services, but less than 25% will be integrated across organizations’ silos.[1]

Building agility and flexibility

Governments must find ways to infuse innovation in everything they do. This means quickly developing and deploying systems that can exploit citizen data and insight to deliver new levels of experience and optimize operational performance.

Increasingly, governments are looking to cloud-based low-code development platforms to accelerate innovation and provide critical citizen services. Indeed, Accenture suggests the low-code revolution will unleash a ‘Cambrian explosion’ of innovation.

Low-code platforms empower public sector workers to quickly and easily deliver new capabilities on demand, without having to rely on hard-pressed development teams. In effect, the people who best understand citizens’ needs are those who can help create the systems to fulfil those needs.

Major benefits of low-code development include adapting to the future of work and enhancing citizen experience and cross-agency collaboration.

Be remote, in person or something in between

The future of the workplace, in terms of where and how employees will work, has yet to play out. The pandemic changed the dynamics, potentially for good, leading agencies to rethink how to keep personnel productive yet safe.

The cloud gives organizations the flexibility to support a hybrid workforce, easily scaling to support remote employees — another strategic enabler. With data in the cloud, agencies can enable real-time, multi-site and collaborative access, ensuring that current work processes and responsiveness remain intact from anywhere. 

Get closer to citizens

Citizens increasingly demand digital experiences like those delivered by the private sector, and low-code is key to helping the public sector catch up. Digital transformation is allowing agencies to elevate citizen engagement, improving end-to-end service delivery with omni-channel interactions that are personal and on-demand.

Cloud-based citizen experience management solutions allow for tailored communications with each citizen based on how they want to engage, while incorporating self-service access to better utilize internal resources. The cloud will play a key role in helping organizations run a more efficient digital government and changing how employees deliver services to give citizens the ease of engagement they deserve.

Collaborate, develop, deliver

The more intelligent and connected the government agency, the more opportunities that low-code solutions can power innovation and growth. Cloud-based low-code is proving to be the conduit to improved internal and external collaboration, enabling cross-agency exchanges and the creation of ‘digital ecosystems,’ comprised of partners, suppliers and other stakeholders working together to develop and deliver new citizen services. An ideal test environment, agencies are also taking advantage of increased computing capacity to quickly scale and test ideas and models.

Other public sector benefits for cloud-based low-code include:

  • Creating proofs of concept. Low-code tools offer a way for citizen developers to show government executives their ideas and working proofs for improved applications or entirely new systems at little cost.
  • Increasing task efficiency. The reduced amount of development time required for low code makes it ideal for delivering small applications and automation to increase everyday task efficiency and shrink workflows.
  • Avoiding the “good idea paradox.”  Low-code solutions let citizen developers convert good ideas into simple apps that can convince the business of the value for full-scale development, ensuring ideas move from concept to reality. 
  • Empowering remote work. With many staff members still working from home, IT teams can’t cope with the variety and volume of network connections, application preferences and much-needed features. Equipped with low-code tools, employees can build what they need when they need it.

The decade ahead promises continued acceleration of IT modernization, with agencies recognizing the cloud as the strategic enabler to ramp up innovation, lean on automation and deliver the digital services that citizens demand.

Cloud for Government from OpenText™ allows governments worldwide to place business goals before technical requirements when modernizing their IT systems. The solution speeds innovation and delivery cycles to create a new world of agile and responsive government.


[1] Gartner, Hype Cycle™ for Digital Government Technology, 2021

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark, and HYPE CYCLE is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Keith Nelson

Keith Nelson is Senior Industry Strategist for Global Public Sector at OpenText. He has more than 20 years experience working in public sector high-tech and management consulting and as a government appointee. His roles in government include serving as Assistant Secretary for Administration, Chief Financial Officer, and Deputy Chief Information Officer at multiple U.S. Federal Cabinet Agencies.

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