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Practical advice on how to get leadership buy-in for government software

Digital Transformation

Educating the leadership team on the technical and business benefits of government software is critical to getting their buy-in for digital transformation in the public sector. 

The pandemic has highlighted the value of software for government agencies. Per NASCIO’s 2021 State CIO Survey, 94% of the respondents confirm that the pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital government solutions. In 2022, government IT spending on software is expected to increase 12%, according to Gartner. Priorities include digital transformation and IT modernization.

To help Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Governance Officers (CIGOs) make a case for digital services and electronic payments, we suggest the following approach: 

  • Explain e-government trends, but avoid “tech speak” 
  • Communicate benefits in terms of business value
  • Show the return on investment (ROI)
  • Provide examples of successful GovTech implementations
  • Take a scalable approach to government as a platform

Why CIOs need to secure executive sponsorship for digital government solutions 

CIOs in the public sector don’t have broader discretionary authority to make investment decisions about government technology platforms without the involvement of other key stakeholders. They are subject to their agency’s budgets, approvals and procurement processes and need government leaders’ approval to sign off budgets for new technologies. According to a Deloitte survey with government officials, 37% cite insufficient funding as a top barrier that impedes their organization from taking advantage of digital trends. 

Getting buy-in is needed not only to secure financial resources. Leaders are also crucial to pushing technology adoption among other stakeholders. Investing in a digital government platform to consolidate processes and services across departmental silos typically involves an organizational change, too. This type of reorganization requires discussion, support and engagement from all stakeholders. Everyone needs to feel invested in the outcome.

Avoid tech jargon when communicating GovTech trends 

The technology sector is known for its jargon and buzzwords. Using “tech speak” can alienate government leaders, though. In order to get and keep their attention, CIOs need to act more like tech translators. 

Using jargon is not an effective way to inform and persuade others. When people don’t understand new technologies, they are less likely to adopt them. Findings from academic research published in the Public Understanding of Science journal suggest that science and technical jargon hinders a person’s ability to process scientific information, contributing to increased perception of risk and lower support for technology adoption.

Explain the business benefits of government as a platform

Government CIOs and CIGOs have a unique opportunity to create awareness of the emerging technologies and trends transforming the public sector. Equally important for their role is to make the business implications of these innovations clear.

It’s not only a matter of adopting new technology for the sake of adopting new technology. CIGOs and CIOs are well-positioned to explain how government software solutions can address agencies’ pain points. Here are some common challenges that drive investments in technology for government:

  • Slow service delivery due to long waiting period for walk-in visits to government offices and manual processing of documents and payments
  • High costs associated with mailing, walk-in visits, manual recollection and maintenance of legacy systems 

To get executive buy-in, make it clear how government technology solutions can drive better online experiences for citizens, optimize operations and reduce costs. PayIt enables state and local agencies to consolidate hundreds of government services and payments into one centralized citizen experience. Results include:

  • Reduced walk-in visits to government buildings
  • Lower costs with postal expenses and legacy system maintenance
  • Increased adoption of government payment solutions 

PayIt adapts your existing processes into smart workflows for back-office processes, reducing manual efforts with document and payment processing and reconciliation. Agencies benefit from increased integration across silos, fewer errors due to automation and faster disbursement.

Identify the return on investment (ROI) of software for government

A good tactic to obtain leadership support for government software is to demonstrate its return on investment (ROI). This metric helps decision makers to determine the efficiency of an investment. 

Consider, for example, Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study of deploying PayIt’s digital solution. This commissioned report is a valuable resource to help identify the costs, benefits, flexibility and risk factors affecting decisions to invest in digital services and electronic payments. As per the report, PayIt brings agencies an ROI of 322% over three years. 

To help government officials make a case for digital services and electronic payments, PayIt has launched an ROI Calculator that quantifies the recaptured value of employees’ time and efforts thanks to our SaaS platform. The free assessment tool is available at assessment.payitgov.com. After answering 14 questions about your agency, you will receive a personalized report with results and recommendations. 

Follow the lead of successful implementations of smart government solutions

Technology leaders can also inspire their organization’s executive team to invest in government software systems by showing the benefits realized by other agencies that have successfully implemented the same type of innovation. 

As noted by Gartner, “The risk-averse nature of many government leaders causes them to be early followers, rather than cutting-edge leaders when considering new business approaches and technology solutions.” Providing examples of successful implementations becomes key to building their confidence.

The PayIt platform has had a tremendous impact on our clients’ bottom line. The City of St. Louis, for example, obtained a 98% year-over-year increase in online revenue after launching payitSt.Louis.

In North Carolina, DMV office wait times went down 40% because citizens now have the convenience to go online to renew driver licenses and vehicle registrations, pay property taxes and order specialty license plates and ID cards, among other services.

myNCDMV services screenshot

 

PayIt’s clients serve 80 million residents in North America. Explore PayIt’s content library for more success stories and case studies.

Build a strategic planning process in the public sector

Having a strategic plan can help you obtain leadership’s sponsorship for software solutions. As per Deloitte’s study, lack of strategy is a top barrier to digital maturity, along with a culture and leadership poised to take full advantage of digital trends. Mapping and communication priorities make it easier for others to understand why and how to execute your vision. 

In building your strategic plan for public sector modernization, a good approach is to start small, digitizing only a few services, and expanding to other departments after seeing the positive impact. In fact, encouraging pilot initiatives among the agencies is the preferred method for deploying emerging technologies for 76% of the respondents in the NASCIO’s 2021 State CIO survey.

That’s why it’s important to choose scalable government software. In other words, the system needs to have the capabilities to add more services and serve more constituents over time. That’s the case with the PayIt platform. For example, when iKan was first launched, citizens could request vital record copies and renew vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses, but now they can also pay real estate property taxes through the platform. 

Choose a partner, not a vendor

The type of relationship your agency has with your technology provider is critical to the success of your government digital transformation initiative. A true partner helps you figure out the right solution for your needs and ensures your staff and constituents have the best experience possible over the entire journey. 

PayIt is more than a technology vendor. We pride ourselves on being agencies’ partners in modernizing services, payments and workflows. We offer direct assistance through every step of your digital government transformation. Our marketing team will help drive the adoption of your digital services and payments, and a branded help center will assist your citizens and staff with navigating the PayIt platform. 

Book a demo with us to discuss a digital government solution that solves your unique business challenges.