A change is in progress. The experience that companies such as Netflix and Apple deliver to consumers raised expectations in consumer relations. And now the public service is also being submitted to increased pressure in order to provide similar experiences to citizens, who wish to interact easily at any day and time and have their problems solved quickly. But how can this become effective?
This trend requires public managers to seek out technologies that assist in eliminating red tape and encouraging digital transformation in institutions. They need to implement the Excellence in Management culture, with agility in the delivery of quality citizen services.
Putting this into practice requires great effort, yet provides numerous benefits. Governments can encourage innovation by means of technology. They are able to dimension services more quickly and precisely and optimize the allocation of public funds.
In this regard, we highlight four strategies to be possibly adopted by public service in order to serve society better:
1. Encouragement of self-service channels
By means of self-service channels such as portals for example, an institution can provide scale and agility to the public service provided. Institutions will thus ensure the population’s ability to file complaints, accusations or simply to request information, without the need to visit an assistance unit. Portals also allow publishing documents of public interest, which the population may then view at any time.
2. Digitalizing information
Paper is a great villain in public service, as it makes transactions slow and subject to errors. Electronic records are essential in enabling public institutions to provide on-line services, available at any time. Moreover, electronic information may be managed more easily. Risks of losses and tampering with data are drastically reduced.
3. Automated processes
Technologies such as BPM allow working with process automation and electronic forms. This is a means of simplifying interaction between citizens seeking assistance and public institutions. By gathering information automatically, institutions can also process it electronically. Citizens therefore receive the replies they need in less time. In addition, public employees may give attention to other projects and activities.
4. Data analysis
As digital process maturity increases, an institution can begin viewing the data created based on interactions among servers, citizens, processes and contents. Data analyses assist in detecting bottlenecks and unnecessary activities, besides guiding public managers in process improvement actions. At a more advanced level such information assists in preparing new strategies and public policies.
Public service improvement should be a priority for the administration. Institutions should seek technological platforms that encourage the provision of better quality services, in line with citizens’ expectations. Even in the light of complex challenges and ever more limited budgets, public authorities should be dedicated to improving life for the population.