Mobile apps and digital services have changed how we engage with most industry sectors…except government. People who’ve become accustomed to having information, products, and services right in the palms of their hands want the same access from their governments as they get from digital-native companies like Amazon and Google. Government staff hear how their private sector counterparts can work without being constrained to on-premises computers and want the same.
Digitizing government promises to help both citizens and government workers by delivering information and services faster and better. Moreover, Government-as-a-Platform (GaaP) promises to get things done smarter and in a more consistent way. Many agencies are turning to a “Digital by Design” methodology to digitize without dumping their existing investments in backend platforms.
Digital by Design at its core is not about just moving government services to mobile and the cloud. Rather, it’s about focusing on what you want to do with your digital services and choosing the technologies that meet your goals. While improving citizen service delivery may be the first reason to start down the digital government path, Digital by Design and GaaP also enable government agencies to save money and improve efficiency by sharing common administration, procurement, infrastructure, and support services.
Digital by Design helps governments improve communication and collaboration across agencies, boost employee productivity, and make IT services more cost effective. But a successful and sustainable transformation is always underpinned and enabled by consistent security. The following six strategies can enable governments to achieve faster, smarter, and better government services, while ensuring security of information and people.
1. Align Mobile-First Strategy with Your Risk Appetite
Choose IT products that are designed and built with mobile-first in mind, but also with security and functionality that will meet your risk appetite. Purpose-built mobility management platforms not only provide a seamless user experience for citizens and workers, but also enable easy mobile application development and management, both on-premises and in the cloud. Ensure your mobile platform has built-in data-leak prevention, the ability to protect private user data, and cross-platform and cross-organization mobile file sharing. Moreover, your EMM suite should support two-factor authentication to the work perimeter. Lastly, prudent risk governance requires IT managers to clear any significant changes in the risk profile with the board.
2. Embrace Secure, Real-time Communication
Being able to chat securely and instantly from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop with your peers, members of a committee, representatives from another agency, and/or external partners and citizens is one of the most powerful enablers for government transformation. It drives improvements in business processes and productivity, supports behavioral change, breaks silos and barriers, and lowers risk to the organization. On top of that, it requires no changes in your IT infrastructure. No wonder it is top of mind for government agencies.
3. Leverage Secure File Sharing to Collaborate Across Silos
Yesterday’s PC-based or in-house file sharing solutions aren’t effective when the workforce is mobilized or when you need to grant citizens access to content in a simple and secure manner. To get to a high level of productivity aligned with the GaaP model, governments need to smash the walls that inhibit collaboration and document sharing. A modern, mobile-first file-sharing platform not only improves internal productivity, but also enables better collaboration between government agencies and with external consultants, outsourcing vendors, contractors, auditors, and citizens. Address concerns about losing control of information or documents by selecting a collaboration platform that provides a high level of security, a seamless user experience, strong encryption, and mobile convenience.
4. Take Advantage of the Government-Ready Cloud Solutions
Combining on-premises IT services with the latest cloud technologies is a cost-effective way for governments to get the worker productivity gains and agile IT services expected from mobilization. Make sure your external cloud service provider offers:
- High quality of service
- Seamless integration
- An excellent user experience
- Minimized security risks with no significant tradeoffs to productivity or user satisfaction.
Consider deploying cloud-based unified endpoint management (UEM), including enterprise mobility management, file sharing, secure voice, and emergency communication. A UEM solution that offers easy, out-of-the-box integration with existing shared data stores, collaboration suites, back-end applications, and cloud services such as Office 365 amplifies the benefits
5. Increase the Value of BYOD and CYOD with Secure Cross-Platform Apps and Collaboration
Because bring-your-own-device (BYOD) in government has mostly been limited to email and calendar access, governments are getting only a fraction of mobilization’s potential benefits. App management solutions are the key to getting the full value of BYOD and mobilization. Cross-platform apps enable employees to securely share files and documents across platforms and engage in real-time chat between individuals and groups, all with a consistent interface that makes them easy to use. By using a container-based software development kit (SDK), agencies can easily build or buy, then deploy, secure apps across their user base.
6. Prepare for Emergencies
In a crisis, a moment’s delay in communication is another moment victims and responders remain at risk. Today’s emergency communications technology enables government agencies to dramatically cut the time to alert and account for personnel in a crisis. By replacing manual, telephone-based notification processes with more effective automated systems, services, and procedures tied to users’ mobile devices, governments can contact people with immediacy.
There’s no doubt that governments are pressured to achieve more with less while being faster, more agile, and more accessible to citizens and workers. Moving away from slow, tedious, and manual processes and untethering workers from on-premises technology is essential to modernizing government, not to mention achieving the improvements in service delivery and productivity that citizens, governments, and employees demand.
So, what are you waiting for?
Learn more about how BlackBerry can help securely mobilize your government agency at BlackBerry for Government.