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eGovernment Innovation- Utah.gov Takeaways

Avatar of Amy DeWolf
Amy DeWolf

In the increasingly mobile world, government is changing how it operates and delivers information to citizens. It’s been one year since the Digital Government Strategy launched, which encouraged agencies to develop mobile services, and a lot has changed. Despite tight budgets (or perhaps because of) organizations are adopting mobile technology and eGovernment solutions to increase employee productivity and deliver improved services to citizens where they are- online and on the go.

Utah.gov is known as being one of the most innovative, citizen-centric government sites in the country and a leader in State eGovernment solutions. They have over 1,000 online services that range from renewing a car registration to ordering birth certificates. They are continuously innovating, optimizing content, and making it simpler to consume information all of which leads to improved customer service and increased engagement. Recently, Utah.gov underwent some innovative changes to increase functionality and make it easier to navigate on any device (computer, tablet, smartphone etc). Some of the new improvements include:

  • Smart Search: Provides context rich and time sensitive search results. The custom-built search optimizes the results provided based on keywords.
  • Geolocated Legislative Representatives and Bills: To increase citizen involvement, Utah.gov now displays the senate and house information and bills related to citizens’ location.
  • Social Media Integration: Users see relevant and timely social media throughout Utah.gov from government
    agencies and elected officials. This allows the message to be seen by all people and not just those following the social media accounts.
  • Responsive Design: While the 2013 revision was designed with tablets in mind, Utah.gov can be adapted to any browser or screen size.

There are many benefits to online services for citizens, businesses, individual states and other governments, but in a report by the Center for Public Policy Administration they specifically highlight financial benefits from cost avoidance (how much you save – how much you spend). Some takeaways from the report include:

  • Utah has moved many of its services online and also moved to a self-funded/no cost model

  • As of 2011, 1.3 million people visited Utah.gov
  • Because of more online services it is estimated they saved $46 million over a 5 year period

  • Through the self-funded model they have saved $15 million

I encourage you to check out the full report here which dives deeper into the cost savings calculation.

As citizens become even more tech-savvy, government will need to offer services online to meet their increasing expectations and demands. Already many citizens prefer to ask a question over Twitter instead of picking up the phone. The same is true for filling out paperwork and interacting with government agencies. While moving certain services online can be time consuming, it will be worth it in the end as it improves the customer experience. Plus, many services can be built and function without spending any additional taxpayer dollars using the self-funded model (learn more about the no cost eGovernment solutions here)

NIC is the nation’s leading provider of eGovernment online services. We build, manage, and market official government online services on behalf of 3,500 federal, state, and local agencies in the United States. Our solutions use technology to simplify time-consuming processes, increase efficiencies and reduce costs for both governments and the citizens and businesses they serve. www.nicfederal.com. Be sure to visit them right here on GovLoop in the “EGOV Innovation Station” Group.

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