3 key technology trends transforming the public sector

by Katy Beloof

Governments looking to serve their citizens in the digital era need to keep up with the demands of tech-savvy constituents. To respond to citizen demand for 24/7 digital information services and provide other services and programs that support constituents, governments must take advantage of new technologies.

While technology can help governments and government agencies become more effective, modernizing technology doesn’t happen overnight. Although initiatives like the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act are a powerful incentive to update outdated technology by providing financial resources and technical expertise to agencies, different governments and government agencies remain at various points in their adoption of digital and cloud-based technologies. Many need to examine how their current processes work and adopt technology that will help them scale services and programs and uphold their commitments to citizens.

Here are three key technology trends that are driving local, state, and federal government agencies and departments to rethink how work gets done and redefine how they serve their constituents.

1. Automated workflows save time, drive efficiency

The administrative overhead required for the operation of local, state, and federal departments and agencies is well known. Government bureaucracy more readily calls to mind red tape and stacks of paperwork, rather than efficient operations. In fact, a survey by the Governing Exchange found that government workers and officials spend an inordinate amount of time on meetings, paperwork, email, and data collection and reporting  — at the expense of planning future activities and new, innovative programs.


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Yet this outdated approach is starting to change. The past year has seen a shift toward government agencies implementing automation, saving government workers thousands of hours previously spent on processing data and data entry, according to a recent report from Deloitte Consulting. This frees up time for employees to focus on more valuable, mission-critical work to further innovation and better serve citizens.

As government entities rethink how work gets done, some are turning to a work execution platform to track, automate, and manage their operations and processes from end to end. A work execution platform can make it easy for government workers to automate administrative processes, program workflows, data collection, and more — moving work forward more effectively and efficiently.

2. Collaborative work management powers programs and services.

To meet and exceed the expectations of today’s tech-savvy citizens, governments, departments, and agencies must work differently. Work is becoming increasingly collaborative: Serving citizens effectively requires departments to work together on programs and initiatives. Collaboration may even be required between different government entities to improve programs and services or support innovation. Governments that can share the resources, budget dollars, or information needed to solve big problems quickly, effectively, and securely, can better serve constituents across the board.


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To help facilitate collaboration across departments and agencies — or even between federal and local government — organizations can benefit from a common platform that enables secure sharing and breaks down existing silos.

Smartsheet Gov is the only work execution platform in the FedRAMP marketplace. It offers fast user adoption and secure sharing, giving government workers a seamless way to work together and drive the best results for their citizens. Smartsheet Gov also enables agencies to analyze and act on the latest information through the use of data collection forms, which make it easy to quickly capture information across departments and regions.   

3. The Internet of Things connects “smart cities”

Another technology that governments are exploring and embracing is the internet of things (IoT) and other “smart” technologies. Smart city and smart region initiatives are showing up across the U.S. and in other countries with the aim of creating digitally connected environments to help local and regional governments provide more effective programs and services.


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Initial projects might include connected “smart meters” that enable public utilities to help citizens save energy or conserve water, and road sensors that collect data on traffic patterns to provide the information needed to support infrastructure development. Connected, smart objects can help local governments reduce spending, improve efficiency, and ultimately improve the quality of life for their citizens.

In addition to specific projects, comprehensive initiatives are also underway. Partnerships between the public sector, educational institutions, and government entities, such as the Greater Phoenix Smart Region, seek to bridge the gap between innovative technology and the needs of communities to ensure that smart city technology improves the quality of life for all citizens.

A flexible and secure work execution platform like Smartsheet can help communities plan for these complex regional initiatives, and drive the effective collaboration and transparency needed to manage innovative approaches to governance.

Download our report 5 ways technology can transform government operations to drive collaboration, increase effectiveness, and achieve more with less. 

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