Government agencies are putting people at the center of everything they do. In the year ahead, they are prioritizing customer experience improvements as a top commitment, even striving to brand and market their programs. Expectations are constantly evolving and every interaction with the public can help build trust.
For the Department of Homeland Security, for example, the goal is to establish an official CX officer role and CX office. The department is also focused on expanding usage of digital services among demographic groups. As governments and the public sector work towards enhancing data management, challenges around data ownership, privacy concerns, and appropriate measures against security breaches are also top of mind. There are many moving parts to tackle, not least of which is modernizing legacy systems. Against this backdrop, here are five key trends for 2023.
Government agencies are focusing on value and outcomes. Modernizing legacy systems by moving to cloud and low-code systems will help agencies better manage costs and serve citizens. In order to keep the pace of modernization changes, Business Process Optimization and attendant organization change management will be needed. With fewer legacy systems, agencies can focus on delivering outcomes citizens expect in a more efficient way. As citizen expectations evolve, we’ll see government agencies branding and marketing their programs and measuring their performance through KPIs, OKRs and performance benchmarks.
Customer experience expectations stem beyond just the public space and are now proliferating new policies across government agencies. A key area of CX focus is on key life stages, stemming directly from the President’s Management Agenda and subsequent Executive Order. Scaling design and systems requires matching with a digital partner who knows how to merge all of the government systems and create a user experience that offers citizens what they are used to in other places like retail. An extension to “offline” efforts through service design also factors into these priorities. Though not new, the customer experience trend is proliferating across the government with a new policy and administration focus, strengthening its workforce with new hires, delivering a secure experience, and managing the business of government. Government agencies are viewing every interaction with citizens as an opportunity to deliver the services people expect and deserve, at every given key life moment - whether that is retiring or renewing a passport.
There is an ever-growing need for system modernization and data management. Many older, ongoing strategies are being revised to improve technologies and solutions to better enable outcomes for citizen and government interactions. Data for evidence-based decision making on programs, informing policy, business processes and service delivery take the lead in developing fresh approaches. Meanwhile, automation and personalization are big buzz words as governments consider artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning (ML) for the public good.
New ways of working, training, engaging, attracting and retaining talent in the federal sector are crucial for the future of the public sector. 2023 will see heavy ongoing investments in digital professional development. Change management will continue trending in the year ahead. The federal workplace environment is evolving and dealing with unique issues, from working remotely to communicating expectations to employees. For example, in the aftermath of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reverted to the telework policy of a previous administration that allowed enhanced flexibility. In current hybrid environments, the focus is on how to optimize team configurations and partnerships. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are also top of mind, as USDA has shown in establishing an Equity Commission.
Tech challenges and orals–or spoken examinations–are gaining popularity compared to written technical approaches. This allows the government to see and hear how industry leaders can approach problems and gel with their teams. Consolidating procurement efforts across capabilities rather than piecemealing work is also core, feeding into the constellation of digital business transformation, strategy and communications. More than ever, the partnership between government and industry is critical in collectively shaping more innovative approaches to solve our nation’s most pressing needs. Federal agencies and industry associations alike are answering the call to provide a forum for open collaboration to build capacity, ignite new ideas, and meet the moment to deliver for every citizen.