Streamline Government Communication With Document Automation
While the COVID-19 pandemic created significant stress and uncertainty for businesses everywhere, it’s hard to overemphasize how challenging it was for governments worldwide. In addition to managing diametrically opposing citizen demands for masks (or no masks), vaccines (or no vaccines), and lockdowns (or no lockdowns), the government was forced to solve the same problem everyone was wrestling with: how to continue operating when in-person interaction was limited.
The answer to this problem, as we all now know, was digital government transformation. And though government entities lagged behind the private sector when it came to adopting new technologies, they made significant progress in the years following the pandemic. In the Salesforce 2022 Connected Government survey, 54% of respondents said that since the pandemic, it’s easier to get help from the government online than in person.
This is great news. Unfortunately, the same report showed that, while governments are embracing digital, the customer experience delivered by government technology is still lacking. This is underscored by data that shows that less than a quarter of digital government transformation objectives are met fully and on time.
The takeaway is that, while governments are making notable progress, the execution of digital adoption is inadequate — and the cost comes in the form of constituent distrust. To rebuild confidence in the public sector, government leadership must focus on investing in government technology companies that offer streamlined, secure, transparent digital solutions that prioritize the user experience.
What is The Digital Transformation of Government?
Digital transformation is a long-term, strategic initiative government entities undergo to convert documents, processes, and communications from paper to cloud-based digital platforms.
Due to approval constraints and the sensitive nature of the documents and data governments store, they are often hesitant to adopt new technologies. However, increases in cloud security have now surpassed that of traditional paper. In addition to efficiency and accessibility gains, digital transformation for government, or GovTech, provides a safer environment to accomplish the goals of these organizations.
Why is Digital Government Transformation Essential To Building Trust?
Building confident relationships between governments and citizens, partners, and constituents is incredibly important, especially today when government trust in the United States and across the globe is flailing.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has created a framework to help the public sector understand the drivers of citizen trust. Two of the qualities mentioned in the framework are:
- Responsiveness and reliability in delivering policies and services
- Acting in line with the values of openness, integrity, and fairness
Both of these qualities are quickly compromised by governments using outdated methods of operation like mailing, receiving, and storing printed documents and wrestling with ancient computer systems that are difficult to navigate. Not only do these methods slow government processes and issue resolution, but they also lack the security required for processing, distributing, and storing sensitive data. Misplaced pieces of paper, lost documents in the mail, and confusing webs of online forms that send users across multiple digital channels are the poison that leads many to question the integrity and reliability of government.
Investing in GovTech is the antidote to the disease of mistrust. The data from thousands of citizens across the globe validates this point: In the Salesforce Connected Government report, 87% of those surveyed said that a great digital government customer experience would increase their degree of trust. And an increase in citizen trust impacts whether they vote, share personally identifiable information, apply for benefits, and participate in community engagement.
With streamlined, cloud-based, mobile and tablet-accessible operations, governments can speed applications for aid, automate and personalize responses, and provide fast and easy contact methods for questions and problems — all within a secure infrastructure that locks down data flow, access, and manipulation.
The Hallmark of Digital Government Transformation is Document Automation
Many government technologies can digitize various aspects of citizen support; document automation is a high-impact place to start. With digital documents that can be distributed, completed, and submitted online, public sector organizations have an opportunity to:
- Improve the citizen experience
- Increase sustainability while reducing costs
- Lock-down data security
But document automation isn’t just about creating digital documents; it’s also about automating communication, data entry, distribution, and access so citizens feel confident that they will securely receive what they need when they need it — an essential component of trust.
5 Document Automation Features That Build Constituent Trust
Government technology companies offer document automation solutions that come in many forms, from tools that have a clunky interface to legacy applications that are incompatible with cloud or hybrid infrastructures. It’s important to choose GovTech that enhances the user experience, eases internal processing, and amps up security.
Let’s take a look at the features that will deliver the most value to the citizen experience during the journey to digital government transformation.
Fast Document Generation
Quick load times for even large documents (and let’s face it: the government isn’t known for brevity) should be a high priority for any government institution. When constituents or government employees are uploading sensitive or classified documents, a lengthy load time can cause the internet to time out or a browser to go to sleep. This disrupts the process, introducing frustration and a poor perception of government technology.
Document automation solutions that offer rapid file uploads and one-click document creation make everyone’s job easier, allowing them to get even complex documents uploaded and set up in seconds.
When it comes to tax, compliance, and other highly-regulated forms, governments are expected to have every document formatted in compliance with legal requirements. Digital document solutions that provide customizable templates with pixel-perfect control over even the most minute details — the dimensions of a text box, the color of a header, or the layout of tables and figures — ensure that every form is perfectly formatted and print-ready at the click of a button.
Online Applications and Forms
To submit government applications on paper, citizens must go through a tedious process of printing, filling out, scanning, and emailing these forms. In many cases, they may even have to pick the forms up and submit them in person — a tedious process that can even be impossible for individuals who don’t have a personal vehicle or access to public transportation.
Building trust means meeting the people where they are and simplifying their lives. Giving them digital access to applications and forms — with immediate confirmation of receipt — greatly eases and speeds up the process they must go through to submit important government forms.
Approvals with E-Signature
The same principle applies when it comes to obtaining signatures, internally or externally. Waiting for signatures in the mail from either government representatives or citizens creates costly holdups, damaging constituent confidence that benefits and services will be received in a timely manner.
E-signature platforms accelerate the workflow and keep governments on schedule by providing approvals and confirmations to constituents in minutes instead of days.
Automated Outreach and Follow-Up
One of the hallmarks of trust is openness, transparency, and communication. For constituents, this means knowing if government applications have been received, where they are in the process, and where their approvals stand. Digital government transformation solutions that automate citizen follow-up and outreach can provide this confidence.
- Automated confirmation emails give citizens assurance that their information has been received and securely stored.
- Automated follow-up communications tell them how their document can be accessed and its status or place in the queue.
- Automated approval or rejection emails, phone calls, and text messages confirm that an application has been reviewed, approved, or rejected, and what citizens need to do next.
Security and Compliance
Cybersecurity is an important concern to citizens who are sharing private, detailed information like social security numbers, income, and banking numbers. To provide the best, most secure experience for constituents, choose government technology companies with solutions that have these features:
- Cloud native — Native integration with internal databases like Salesforce Government Cloud Plus keeps sensitive data secured in one place.
- FedRAMP certified — Check every government security box right out the gate by choosing a cloud solution that is already FedRAMP certified.
- Access control - Governments can define exactly who has access to what data and restrict permission accordingly. This limits the attack surface and greatly reduces the possibility of data leakage.
- Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) — An extension of access control, MFA confirms the identity of every person who logs in by requiring at least two forms of verification.
Choose Government Technology That Delivers A Positive Customer Experience
GovTech has made powerful and important progress in the years following the pandemic. And while the gains in efficiency and access shouldn’t be ignored, the government customer experience still has a ways to go. Investing in government technology that enables citizens to easily, quickly, and securely engage with public services lays the groundwork for equal gains in citizen confidence and trust.
S-Docs is a Salesforce Government Cloud-native solution that gives governments and their constituents the simple, relationship-building digital experience they’re looking for. With one-click document generation, e-signature, and pixel-perfect digital forms, governments can:
- Meet and exceed constituent expectations
- Improve employee productivity and service delivery
- Communicate transparently at scale
- Innovate faster
- Provide greater accessibility
As a trusted partner to government organizations around the globe, we’re here to answer any questions about your digital document needs. Read more about how we support digital government transformation or reach out to request a demo today.
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