There are many shifts happening in government in the year ahead, such as moving from a project-based to customer-oriented focus, the emergence of work-anywhere environments and actively addressing organizational infrastructure and design debts. These shifts underline the need for technologists to view problems through the lens of both the workforce and the customer.
Here are the four U.S. government trends I see in 2022:
Trend 1: Reimagining GTM strategy: Goodbye go-to-market, hello global talent management
Defense departments call it manpower planning, education institutions call it tenure track. However labeled, the idea of empowering an enhanced employee experience in today’s hybrid workforce has moved past nice-to-have nurturing elements to supported, frequently expanded, on-demand resilient resources that are the baseline of accomplishing missions. The common mission going to market across all government agencies is transforming customer experience and reskilling employees to meet these needs, which includes prioritizing the necessary infrastructure of enabling technology tools. In 2022, we’ll see agencies look to extend their low-code platforms – such as OpenText™ AppWorks™ – to empower non-technical users to create applications that will improve and automate critical service delivery in an approachable, scalable and secure way.
Trend 2: A shine on civic design for vital services
Consumers have reported a desire to post-pandemic revenge spend and have the time to explore different shopping behaviors as a result of the new norm of remote work and living. But saying goodbye to brand loyalty isn’t an option in public sector, as citizens don’t have the ability to constantly search for agencies that reflect their values. The dedicated and vital service they’re looking for often belongs to just one agency, not a list to select from, and comes with its own set of requirements and fees based on location and other parameters. Agencies still have work to do to ensure they’re both discoverable and reliable by adopting human-centered design (HCD) tactics that de-emphasize “how it looks” and instead stress “how it works.” This approach can be the foundation to deliver improved, personalized experiences at scale. Tactics include consistent omnichannel communications, implementing one-stop websites and tools to address digital equity – transaction by transaction – to help support new roles such as Customer Experience Strategists.
Trend 3: Collaboration requires plain speaking
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced its CMMC 2.0 program and it doesn’t take a crawling, artificial intelligence tool to surface the workforce trends that support and enable the warfighter. The important keywords are front and center: simplifying [the CMMC standard], minimizing barriers [to compliance with DoD requirements], additional clarity [on cybersecurity regulatory, policy and contracting requirements], and cut red tape [for small- and medium-sized businesses]. Building an institution designed for student success highlights similar adjectives: comprehensive [support services] and focused on competencies [rather than credit hours]. While plain language isn’t necessarily an IaaS tool, it is a reference tool nonetheless that ensures government agencies and education departments are doing exactly what they said they would do. However, the use of language is often overlooked when discussions on collaboration revolve around skills, experience and technologies – all which would plummet if dashboards were too hard to use and information too hard to find. Presenting the information and access customers, technologists and partners need in plain language can reduce complexity and increase collaboration.
Trend 4: Moving to cloud to reduce digital debt
The pace of cloud migration in government is increasing. One U.S. government agency reports $1 million annual savings by reducing its digital debt and retiring legacy systems. Several bills were also announced and passed in 2021 that ranked reliance and availability of technology infrastructure higher than the policies and expertise that previously satisfied the administration. In a recent OpenText survey by the Center of Digital Government (CDC), U.S. government executives report significant progress in moving citizen facing and collaborative applications to the cloud. In 2022, government will continue to look to cloud platforms such as Cloud for Government from OpenText™ as a key foundational element of IT modernization programs that can reduce costs while enabling the effective delivery of citizen services.
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