Government agencies often struggle to remain on the leading edge of digital technology advancements due to a lack of commitment to IT modernization and budget constraints. However, advancements in technology are better able to address common issues faced by the government including security, migration from paper to digital and improvements to government tools such as the availability of information on agency websites.
All of these challenges can be made easier with the introduction of digital transformation. There are steps available that can assist government agencies in the digitization process while providing safe storage and backup for vital records. As well, the formation of the United States Digital Services in 2014 has helped improve government websites and digital initiatives.
Supported by the Federal IT Acquisition and Reform Act and the Modernizing Government Technology Act, government agencies are poised to improve the customer experience with tools that allow for successful digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation in Government?
In simple terms, government Digital Transformation looks at opportunities to use digital technology to transform the way the public sector operates and delivers services. It looks for effective strategies that will allow government leaders and agencies to accelerate progress while protecting the data they store and manage on behalf of the government as well as the taxpayer.
Why Government Agencies Need Digital Transformation
Digital transformation empowers government agencies to increase IT efficiency and minimize inherent risks associated with storing and providing access to sensitive data. With the right software, government agencies can strengthen their Information Governance policy.
Tools such as Mercury software allows agencies to manage information regardless of where or how it is currently stored. Software allows you to reduce all associated IT storage costs as well as compliance risk. By automating the critical tasks related to Information Governance, you free up staff time, while ensuring all relevant data is kept safe and secure.
The Five Essential Tasks of Digital Transformation
The five essential tasks of digital transformation strategies include:
- Analyzing your data for the purpose of making cost-saving migration or deletion decisions
- Classifying your data to align with your compliance requirements with tools such as auto-encryption, access control, and retention schedules
- Migrating, retaining or releasing your data for retention, archival or deletion
- Constantly monitoring your data to apply rules and policies
- Generating audit-proof reporting
This allows you to solve common problems so employees can share knowledge and safely collaborate. They will adhere to compliance requirements while having an easier way to track who is accessing information at what time and for what purpose. The government workplace becomes more flexible and more effective within the existing structure without interfering with current processes. Instead, you simply reduce the time spent managing and searching for information.
Adopting Document Imaging and Management Services
State, local and federal government agencies manage an endless influx of paper, mail, and records. Today this represents big data and takes millions of taxpayer dollars to manage, share and process this information. Although the need for digital transformation is strong in government agencies, the regulations of information processes have stalled digital progress.
However, now that the paperless push is on to transform government information, digital transformation offers a rare opportunity to streamline processes to meet the issues faced with government budget cuts. By digitizing information, paperless technology streamlines information collection, sorting and storage, reducing time and the demand for larger departments with more staff.
Outsourcing document scanning allows government agencies to digitize all forms of information including paper, microfilm, microfiche, etc. Companies like DRS provide expertise in information management and processing across all government agencies such as:
- Public Safety
- Law Enforcement
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Registry of Deeds
- Social Services
- Housing Authority
- Transportation Authority
- Parking Violation Bureaus
- Health Facilities
- Department of Natural Resources
- Motor Vehicle Departments
Virtually any document can be digitized allowing these agencies to have single digital storage using a cloud-computing server that is not only easier to access, but also more secure. Digital scanning services provide strategic plans that align with government budgets allowing agencies to safely and affordably streamline their digital transformation strategies.
Managing Scanning Inhouse
Some smaller agencies within local or state governments might elect to manage their scanning and storage in-house. Hardware and software is available allowing agencies to capture images, transform them into digital files and then store them on a secure server. Using products by Docuware, Kodak Alaris capture software, and PSIGEN, agencies can deploy an affordable scanning strategy that continues throughout the transition to a completely paperless environment.
Information Management for Government Agencies
Government organizations also have to be highly sensitive to managing regulations to ensure they stay in compliance. Every agency, branch and division of the government on a federal, state or local level is faced with its own regulatory challenges. Companies such as DRS are well versed in the regulations government organizations must adhere to making them the best information management services when it comes to document scanning and records management.
The transition to electronic information management is driving digital transformation allowing departments to keep and access all necessary records and data. The buildup of paper records stored across multiple offices, warehouses and storage facilities presents a security risk while also making it too time-consuming to efficiently locate records and data.
When the paperwork is digitized, it centralizes records to one digital storage server, allowing secure, permanent archiving that is easily accessed across different agencies as well as taxpayers when required. This allows for secure collaboration and time-saving access that also more effectively preserves records that must be stored for all time.
Paper and microfilm are no longer at risk of fading or becoming too fragile to handle. Instead, they are converted to a digital image that is preserved safely.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation in Government
Digital transformation initiatives such as document scanning, and records management provides affordable solutions that help government departments and organizations:
- Take all forms of records and create digital files that can be stored at data centers with the highest level of security
- Have an affordable way to preserve fragile paper and microfilm documents
- Avoid archiving ensures as all information is retained based on regulation schedules
- Reduce costs and risks with a safer centrally accessed storage server
- Reduce costs for paper storage facilities and warehousing
- Collaboratively share information across departments and locations reducing the time required for research and record searches
- Customer centricity and the user experience is improved where vital information can be accessed via government websites
Government agencies whether they are federal, state or local will find cost and time-saving solutions while also improving the security for vital records and data. With digital transformation projects, data is secure, and the unique challenges faced by government agencies are adequately addressed.