The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to agencies that resilience is more important than ever. Resilience involves providing products and services, no matter the circumstances. Now, many agencies are working towards resilience by digitally transforming their operations.
But fortifying agencies’ resilience will require them to dramatically morph their people, processes and technology. Only after this change occurs can agencies weather tomorrow’s emergencies and still serve citizens.
Fortunately, cloud computing’s flexibility and simplicity can fuel the sturdiness agencies seek. Using cloud, agencies can improve their operations, boost their speed and make their workforces more agile.
Bob Osborn is Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Global Government, for ServiceNow. The ServiceNow platform is designed to help agencies create digital workflows that connect people, processes and systems. He explained how cloud can help agencies take three steps towards permanent resilience.
1. Extend workforces and workflows
As the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates, agencies sometimes need their employees to collaborate effectively over large distances. And these workers also need to quickly and efficiently provide products and services to citizens. “When you separate people, it’s like you explode the office,” Osborn said. “And it illuminates the brittleness of the processes agencies have been using up to this point.”
Osborn said agencies now realize they can’t prioritize technology over people or processes. To digitally transform their resilience, agencies must upgrade all three areas equally.
Ultimately, cloud can juggle agencies’ people, processes and technology no matter their location.
2. Keep serving customers
According to Osborn, agencies’ resilience relies on constantly pursuing mission success. Whether it is viruses or other emergencies, agencies can’t let surprises stop them from serving citizens. “To be able to provide services in the most trying circumstances is nirvana for agencies,” Osborn said.
Cloud can strengthen agencies’ resilience with its consistency and reliability. Even better, it can quickly and easily deliver products and services to the public. “Things that were done manually are now potentially online capabilities,” Osborn said. “It takes the pain away from citizens.”
3. Stay up to speed
Agencies at every level have long struggled to keep up with private-sector innovation. Fortunately, cloud can help agencies keep up with new developments in technology. As a bonus, these new tools can also keep agencies operating despite internal and external pressures. “We’re continually refreshing our suite of applications,” Osborn said of ServiceNow. “It keeps the government on top of technology.”
For instance, cloud can significantly reduce the time agencies spend developing applications for resilience or other concerns. “We can develop applications in hours, days or weeks rather than months or years,” Osborn said.
Additionally, cloud providers such as ServiceNow can help agencies become more proactive. By digitally transforming their resilience, agencies are ready for any challenge. “We call this anticipatory government,” Osborn said. “We’re in the position to deliver services before citizens need them.”
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Your Guide to Improving Customer Experience Through Inclusion, Engagement & Gain.” Download the full guide here.