Digital Government: A Pathway to Migration and Modernization

Guest post by Michael Frey, Xerox Vice President, IT Strategy, Architecture and Data Information Management

This post is based in part on a session I gave recently at the New York Digital Government Summit in Albany, NY, about migration and modernization. From finding and retaining critical staff to mitigating security risks, departments at every level of government seek new solutions to improve efficiency and avoid being overwhelmed. Digital technologies have made it easier to serve citizens, but not without a number of IT challenges to overcome first.

Here are four common government digitization challenges:

  1. Filling vacant IT positions
  2. Protecting against data breaches
  3. Transitioning IT infrastructure to the cloud
  4. Retirement of experienced workforce

Charting a Path to Digital Government and Citizen Service

When it comes to the future of government IT, time- and cost-saving solutions such as automation may hold the key. Your digitization journey doesn’t have to be done all at once. Start with the end in mind, and don’t worry if you just go project by project. Each one will bring more learning to what comes next in your digital government transformation.

digital government migration

Tips for making the most of each stage of your digitization journey:

  • Find the shared vision across Business / Agency and IT
  • Begin with measurable outcomes and time frame
  • Map to an architectural vision
  • Establish principles to help you stay the course

Examples of Strategic Goals of Digital Government

  • Reduce technical complexity
  • Simplify processes through technology
  • Provide global process and shared service solutions
  • Optimize process and IT costs
  • Increase agility through “cloud first” strategy
  • Make data accessible

4 Steps for Faster Digital Government Transformation

  1. Adopt an agile mindset

  • More than a specific method or discipline
  • Focus on results, then adjust based on new information
  • Minimize process paralysis
  1. Break up the work

  • Work toward your vision in incremental blocks
  • Start with prototypes and proofs of value
  • Learn and adjust
  1. Partner for success

  • Get solid sponsorship from business function and IT
  • Consider the concept of “Product” vs Project
  1. Go digital

  • Data is the new currency
  • Cloud is an enabler of agility and flexibility
  • Game changers: Robotics, Machine Learning, BlockChain and AI

Common Digital Transformation Pitfalls

To save some time and headache, avoid these roadblocks on your journey.

  • “Fact-free” planning
  • Disengaged sponsors
  • Skirting the issues
  • Paving the Cow Path
  • “It’s an IT Project”

Digital Government Migration Case Study

Migration and modernization will lead your government department or agency to some interesting places. You may have a similar experience to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare:

“We were in a situation where we had filing cabinets full of data that was unavailable and vulnerable—virtually useless. We now have responsible document management practices and we’re confident that we’re meeting the requirements of all our stakeholders.”

— James A. Weaver, Deputy CIO, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

Read the full story about how the Pennsylvania public welfare agency found relief from paper processes.

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