It’s better to be proactive than reactive, though it may sound cliche, the sentiment carries genuine in many different facets of life, and post-pandemic society can heavily relate. The pandemic brought many new ways of thinking and planning to ensure that systems run smoothly should an unplanned event occur that could cause disruptions. For example, the addition of feature-packed platforms like Teams and Slack for organizations during and post-pandemic. With these new innovations, organizations can now communicate on a centralized platform that’s cloud-based and permits flexible remote work lifestyles, allowing two-way communication from anywhere. Beyond that, organizations have adapted to progressive thinking that can be described in categories like nimbleness, scalability, stability, and optionality as explained by Deloitte in a 2020 report.
- Nimbleness: The way a city acts and reacts to situations with speed, decisiveness, and changes direction as the situation demands.
- Scalability: A city's ability to respond to an unanticipated, and sometimes exponential, increase or decrease in demand in a short period.
- Stability: A city’s ability to remain firm in the present with its operations while also experimenting and scaling solutions for the future.
- Optionality: The way a city can augment its operations and services by tapping into a broader ecosystem of players, including the private sector, startups, technology companies, academia, and nonprofit organizations, and in turn, allowing it to be even more nimble, scalable, and stable.
Keeping these strategies in mind, we will uncover dynamic government solutions that public sector organizations can use to future-proof their organizations. Let’s get into it then, beginning with solution number one: Local Government CRMs.
Future-Proof Solution #1: Local Government CRMs
In the private sector, CRMs (customer relationship management systems) are a no-brainer. Cloud-based solutions like Salesforce and Zoho help automate workflows, keep track of client and business interactions, and track pipeline sales to better measure success, all while allowing users to operate the platform from anywhere.
On the other hand, local government CRMs (Constituent Relationship Management systems, in this case) help track success in various ways including public service request resolution times, positive interactions with constituents and city staff, and capturing data about constituents. This platform allows city staff to operate the platform from anywhere too, allowing work-from-home flexibility.
These are some of the ways that Local Government CRMs can help future-proof an organization to prevent disruption in uncertainty:
- Cloud-based solution- Information about city staff and citizen interactions is stored in a solution that’s accessible from anywhere.
- A centralized hub for information- Instead of perusing different platforms for multiple sources of information, city staff have a streamlined single platform to track information
- Data-driven decision making- With CRM features like data analytics and reports, city staff can better make decisions on allocating resources and future-proof public services to accommodate disruption.
- Omni-channel access- Local government CRMS offers mobile app integrations to allow both residents and city staff to use popular channels like smartphone access to submit public service requests and gather information about the city
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of local government CRM in helping future-proof an organization with strategies like nimbleness, scalability, stability, and optionality, let’s discuss another industry-specific solution that offers key benefits: Public Records Request Solutions
Future-Proof Solution #2: Public Records Request Solutions
As aforementioned, local governments have different standards and expectations from their communities from a transparency perspective. One component of public sector transparency includes modern FOIA solutions to maintain visibility. These solutions help users find public records with ease, reduce the time-consuming tasks around records storage and retention, stay compliant, and address audits.
Public Records Request Solutions offer crucial future-proof benefits like:
- Online Portals- Find public records from any device with an internet browser
- Automated Workflows Routing- Residents and staff have the tools and automated processes they need to easily access public documents online, with the ability to automate workflows for less common requests on the backend with out-of-the-box components.
- Compliance and Security- Streamlined data is one unified platform that has algorithms, protocols, and encryption overseen by experts
- Discover Request Insights- Find which records are being requested most often along with the time span to uncover them
Public Records Requests solutions help local governments maintain resiliency strategies like nimbleness and stability to their citizenry. Moving forward, let’s go into another future-proof solution that helps organizations with resiliency
Future-Proof Solution #3: Video/Livestreaming Solutions
Citizens prefer to consume information in video format, it’s less time-consuming than combing through pages of information to find out what's going on in their community. For local governments, officials recognize the need for video and live stream solutions for public meetings for reasons like public visibility, transparency, ensuring access for all, etc. So it makes sense that video and live streaming solutions would lend themselves to future-proofing organizations.
Video/Live Streaming Solutions' future-proof capabilities include:
- Hands-free streaming- By allowing public meetings to be recorded virtually, city staff’s workload is reduced and allows for remote work
- Closed captioning- Closed captioning for video and live streaming helps reach a larger audience and accommodates some ADA requirements
- Broadcasting Virtual Public Meetings- Cities that offer virtual attendance capabilities to constituents actually experience higher attendance, as citizens don’t have to find transportation to meetings or childcare to attend the meetings.
Video/live streaming solutions help provide future-proof components as the channel is increasingly popular post-pandemic and uses resiliency strategies like optionality and stability. Let’s shift gears to the last solution that has some overlap with video/lives streaming solutions: Agenda Management Solutions.
Future-Proof Solution #4: Agenda Management Solutions
So, we know that providing transparency and access to public meetings in video/live streaming is important, but what about the internal side of things…like managing meetings and agenda minutes? Local government officials know how tedious and time-consuming creating minutes and agendas for public meetings can be, and Agenda Management Solutions help alleviate some of the burdens of city staff.
An essential part of future-proofing means looking at the world around us and how we can better accommodate new events (the pandemic being one of them). There has been a surge in local government employee turnover which contributes to The Great Resignation, though this may seem negative at face value, there are ways organizations can advance efficiencies to empower city staff in their roles, one of them is investing in modern technologies like…you guessed it! Agenda Management Solutions.
Some key features of cutting-edge Agenda Management Solutions that maintain future-proof elements include:
- Custom templates for your agenda documents.
- Easily reschedule items and adjust your agenda.
- Record motions, minutes, actions, and notes on an item.
- Use quick motion shortcuts and block-voting capabilities to maximize meeting efficiency.
- Update meeting minutes and information immediately.
- Generate comprehensive reports.
- Search using full-text search capability for items and supporting materials.
This solution both empowers city staff and sets the scene for a local government organization that operates with nimbleness and stability.
So, we’ve unpacked four solutions that help future-proof an organization and maintain resiliency to cope in uncertain times. Rock Solid’s latest comprehensive report, 9 Trends in Citizen Engagement for Local Government in 2023 gets into the meat of what to expect for trends in the coming year, along with real examples of how your peers are being early adopters of these trends. To learn more about future-proofing your organization, and other trends to strengthen and empower your organization, download the full report today.