By Erin Randall
In a day and age when answers are available with the click of a button and immediate response is expected, the public’s definition of “quality service delivery” has changed dramatically. Citizens want convenience, speed, greater accountability, and choice. These demands aren’t unusual by themselves, but do pose an unusual challenge for government agencies trying to meet these expectations in a cost-effective manner. Perhaps the most obvious tool to help governments address these challenges is technology.
From increasing workflow efficiency to streamlining service delivery, technology is adaptable enough to provide governments the tools to serve the public better now, while still allowing capacity for growth in the future. A key target for improving service delivery through technology is improved information sharing interdepartmentally. For many government entities, the fragmentation of information infrastructure has led to additional costs, inefficient operations, and stove piped solutions that limit effectiveness.
Take for instance an individual citizen. This one citizen may be recorded in individual departmental databases for tax billing, utilities, requests for service, and even criminal records; however, these databases and records have no communication with each other, although they all relate to the same person. This lack of information sharing hinders both departmental decision-making as well as the service that person receives, requiring them to register, pay for, and/or modify services with each department.
An ERP system such as ONESolution remedies this silo effect by employing a technological framework that unifies databases of information. This new framework ensures the same information is available to all appropriately authorized parties allowing them to streamline their processes and coordinate interdepartmentally. In this way, improved information availability enhances both tactical (short term) and strategic (long term) decision making.
Making this even more attractive is the increasing attention and emphasis the federal government is giving to this issue of interdepartmental communication, collaboration, and coordination of information repositories. While the first leaders in this issue were in the public safety arena post-9/11, the idea of improving service delivery through increased collaboration/coordination is spreading throughout all of government.
But how does this affect the local government enterprise? Federal grant funding. From grant programs like the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sustainable Communities Planning Grant to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Justice Information Sharing Initiative, major funding dollars are being directed towards projects that unify individual information repositories and improve decision-making and service delivery.
Interested in ONESolution, eGovernment, and/or tapping into these innovative funding streams? Contact us today or speak with your SunGard Public Sector account executive to learn more!