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What’s the hype about digital government platforms?

Government as a Service

Digital government technology platforms (DGTPs) are transforming the way state and local agencies operate and interact with their citizens. They have become pivotal to the success of government digital transformation initiatives by enabling more efficient processes and service delivery.

As the Hype Cycle for Digital Government Technology, 2021 report by Gartner states, “A DGTP approach enables modernizing legacy systems, and promotes innovation and digital transformation as a catalyst for the development of new platform business models.”

This article explores the benefits of deploying a technology platform to maximize your IT investments. You will learn why platforms are crucial for modern governments and what to look for when choosing the right partner for your digital transformation projects.

Key insights from the Gartner® Hype Cycle™ report

Gartner analyzed government business and technology trends to “identify technologies that enable key initiatives today and present compelling new use cases tomorrow,” noting that the Hype Cycle report “helps CIOs gauge relative risk and timing for investment in digital government technologies and platforms that progress digital maturity and accelerate digital innovation.”

“Technologies on the 2021 Hype Cycle are cross-functional and foundational to enable digital government at scale horizontally, across geographies and government tiers. Most technologies serve as platforms that can be composed and recombined into discrete services and solutions,” states the report, adding that government platforms are expected to mature to mainstream adoption within 2 to 5 years.

What’s a government platform?

Gartner defines DGTPs as “a set of cross-cutting, integrated, horizontal capabilities that coordinate public services across multiple domains such as citizen experience, ecosystem, Internet of Things, IT systems and analytics.”

Think of a platform as a foundation. It’s an environment where you can build upon and run different services and processes. Operating systems such as Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are all examples of platforms where you can run and install applications.

Why you should think of government as a platform

Bringing the platform approach to government enables different departments and agencies to leverage common components and datasets, such as citizens’ contact information, to build services on top of them.

PayIt, for example, digitalizes hundreds of government services and their respective payments, combining them into one integrated user experience. By consolidating services, processes and payments, the public sector improves operational efficiency, reduces costs and delivers a superior experience for citizens.

What you gain with digital services for government

With a platform approach, governments can:

  • Promote digital transformation and drive innovation. Platforms enable governments to reutilize components, giving agility to their innovation cycle. The adoption of more modern technologies also alleviates the burden of having to maintain slow legacy systems.
  • Break down government silos. It’s possible to share data and standardize processes across different agencies. Benefits include reduced redundancy and increased efficiency. For example, when citizens want to update their contact information, they can do it one time and the update will be applied to all services.
  • Improve compliance to privacy and security requirements. Cloud-based platforms ensure more secure transactions because their features are updated by the latest industry standards.
  • Reinvent services in a more user-centric experience. Governments can provide a more convenient, unified experience for citizens, who no longer have to access several websites to interact with different agencies.

Key elements to a digital government technology platform

An effective government platform has features that enable agencies to transform both their operations and service delivery. When choosing a technology partner, agencies should look for solutions that provide the following features:

1. Responsiveness to citizens’ needs

With a DGTP platform, governments can consolidate several services in a one-stop multichannel experience. This approach is convenient for citizens, who increasingly want to interact with their government from any type of device, anytime and anywhere.

2. Increased transparency

An integrated online solution also meets constituents’ demands for agile and transparent processes. With PayIt, citizens can easily update their data and check the status of their applications through their computer or mobile app without having to visit a government building.

3. Workflow automation

Agencies can automate their workflows to streamline their operations and accelerate service delivery. Workflow automation creates more standardized processes and improves visibility across silos because the data can move smoothly from one department to another. With a digital government payment platform, reporting and reconciliation are also automated, freeing employees from manual tasks and adding agility to the process of revenue disbursement.

4. Integration with record systems

Your government platform should integrate with agencies’ existing record systems, whether homegrown or third-party, to facilitate data sharing across organizational silos. With PaytIt’s integrations, agencies can identify and pull in the appropriate datasets and present them in a customizable interface.

5. Scalability

Expandable capabilities are crucial to government platforms because they enable agencies to add new services or update messaging as needed. Scalability is equally important, so there are no constraints on the number of constituents who can receive government services at a given time.

6. Security and regulatory compliance

More governments are investing in cloud-based platforms because they offer increased safeguards that ensure secure transactions and data protection. Cloud providers already have to meet the highest security and compliance standards. PayIt’s platform, for example, is built on AWS GovCloud services and provides PCI Level 1 Merchant certification.

How to measure the success of your government digital transformation

There are different maturity models for digital transformation in government. For example, Deloitte notes that digitally mature organizations go beyond the digitalization of services and fundamentally transform their processes.

“Through the implementation of a DGTP, governments are able to maximize IT investments by reusing shared digital capabilities to be more streamlined, agile and integrated in using data to develop both internal- and external-facing digital solutions,” according to Gartner.

The ROI of deploying an online payment system for government

According to a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting, government agencies can realize a 322% return on investment (ROI) by deploying PayIt’s digital government services and payments platform. The savings come from reduced mail expenses and labor directed to document and payment processing, walk-in visits and maintenance of legacy systems.

Benefits of an integrated solution like PayIt also include improved citizen convenience and employee engagement. Higher adoption of digital government payments has also led agencies to increase their online revenue.

Continuous new ways to improve citizen engagement in local government

Once a government platform is deployed, the initial capabilities can be expanded. More agencies or departments can have their services added to the same digital government solution. This has been the case of the iKan portal, powered by PayIt for the State of Kansas. iKan is an example not only of cross-agency integration but also of the scalable nature of government platforms.

iKan was launched in 2018 with services from two agencies. Residents could renew vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses through the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) and request vital record copies (such as marriage certificates) through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). In 2020, the State of Kansas expanded the services offered after partnering with Shawnee County and Smith County to enable citizens to use iKan to pay real estate property taxes, as well.

With PayIt’s digital wallet, constituents can store receipts, documents and payment methods. This convenience not only contributes to citizen engagement but also impacts the agencies’ bottom line. With iKan, online revenue increased 92% year-over-year (Q4 2020 vs. Q4 2019) as citizens were empowered to schedule payments and set up reminder notifications in order to avoid delinquent payments and errors.

Build a shared vision with PayIt’s software for government

PayIt has helped state and local governments across the nation launch innovative SaaS platforms that streamline their operations and meet their citizens’ increasing demands for GovTech services and electronic payments.

We can do the same for your organization. Get in touch with us and we will walk you through our platform and the services we can help you digitalize.