One of the lessons learned from our recent report, Crafting a Comprehensive Digital Government Strategy, was that agencies need to develop strategies to scale services and leverage existing technology within the agency. In many cases, agencies can identify new insights and improve workflows by leveraging existing technologies. One example is how agencies can leverage enterprise content management (ECM) and geographic information systems (GIS) to improve decision-making and service delivery.
One community leveraging an ECM/GIS solution is Charter Township of Waterford, Michigan. Charter Township of Waterford is located just northwest of Detroit, and is the third largest township in the state with about 74,000 residents. In Hyland’s report, “Township puts documents and processes on the map; improves visibility and service,” the report identifies that 80% of the Townships services are directly related to geographic points. The report found three core benefits by leveraging ECM and GIS:
- Eliminates redundant record keeping with shared portal access to centrally stored data
- Data accuracy owned by the most appropriate department; not shared by multiple
- Improves staff efficiency
By integrating an ECM/GIS solution, agencies can unlock geographic locations typically tied to government documents. This allows agencies to conduct spatial analysis to extract knowledge and improve decision-making. With this kind of solution, agencies can identify new insights and trends to improve services. Although an ECM/GIS solution provides many benefits, below are 5 benefits of leveraging GIS and ECM technologies.
Government manages and stores a lot of paper, and hidden within paper is geographic knowledge. By using the power of GIS to create maps, and ECM’s power to store documents, agencies can identify new trends and patterns that otherwise would remain unknown. This can have dozens of implications for government and improving the lives of constituents, everything from improving housing policy, public safety, traffic patterns, and public works.
At all levels of government, there has been a push for shared services and leveraging current investments. With improvements to software deployments, an ECM/GIS solution can be deployed quickly. Terry Biederman, Director of Public Works, Charter Township of Waterford, Michigan, states, “The next evolutionary step for Government GIS systems is document storage. Nearly everything in public works and community government is tied to geographic locations.”
Access to Documents
Rather than having GIS users leave the GIS environment, employees can access documents directly within the GIS environment, this allows employees to retrieve spatial information and access documents to complete processing requests. Ultimately, this leads to improved services and customer service.
Improved Customer Service
By leveraging both technologies, customer service can improve for government agencies. With both systems, governments can improve the ability to support self-service platforms for common constituent transactions.
Reduced Training Expenses
By using an ECM/GIS solution, agencies can save time from having to train employees from using two different systems, allowing employees to use the system they are most comfortable with, and most efficient for their job.
An ECM/GIS solution has many benefits for government agencies. As government grows more complex, agencies need a solution, such as GIS, that can manage complex data and visually show trends, resource allocation and policy impact. Although GIS is an imperative resource for agencies, GIS is useless if it is not fed data and information into GIS databases. ECM can fill this void, and serve as a way to feed GIS databases with high value content and data. By leveraging both technologies, government employees can find meaning from complex data and information to improve service delivery and develop modern, agile government agencies.
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