For state and local governments, budgets have been cut across the board while technologies have advanced, which has led to the concept of “shared services.” Shared services, with technologies hosted in the cloud, would allow many state and local governments to combine the use of specific technologies or solutions. Organizations using those services would help contribute to the overall financial cost. It’s easy to see why many state and local officials have begun to explore new collaborative relationships with neighboring public sector entities. Perhaps that’s also why respondents to a GovDelivery survey rated collaboration as the top trend affecting state and local agencies in 2013.
The survey of more than 400 individuals in U.S. state, county and city government found that collaboration with other government organizations as well as citizens tops the list of trends taking center stage in 2013 for their organizations.
This infographic highlights survey findings, and you’ll notice that although collaboration is the clear top trend, customer service is not far behind and mobile government is also considered important. In contrast, big data was considered less impactful to state and local government employees.
Collaboration has always been important for every level of government, according to the white paper that provides full details of the survey findings. The white paper states:
- County and city governments must work with state and federal agencies to implement programs.
- Cross-agency collaboration is critical for public safety, law enforcement, public health and other vital services that cross jurisdictions.
- Streamlining inter-agency collaboration can reduce costs and duplication of effort.
Driving the increased need for better collaboration are:
- A demand for increased productivity and efficiency with existing budgets.
- A new generation of individuals entering the work force with collaborative work practices.
- The increasing use of social and digital media by individuals from every walk of life. Today, an increasing number of citizens want to collaborate with their local government officials on social media or get assistance with services online or via mobile technology using their own devices.
24 percent of survey respondents report their agency is already addressing the need for collaboration. That might be because historically governments have collaborated on providing programs and emergency services. The survey indicates that particularly in county governments, many respondents are not yet making use of social media for collaborative purposes. Within the state and local sectors, city governments have made the greatest strides in using social media to share news and information from their organizations.
Given the upward trend in social media and digital usage by the public sector, one implication of the survey findings is that government officials need to make more use of these media to help them engage with customers as well as to collaborate with each other. For example, programs and communications can be cross-promoted on the websites and within digital technologies of various agencies. Also, government entities can use dedicated communities and channels for inter-agency collaboration.
Download the full white paper to learn more about collaboration, customer service, mobile government and how these top trends overlap.