Robin Fisher

Thought leadership: Robin Fisher, Senior Area Vice President of Emerging Markets, Salesforce

Over the past 18 months, like private companies, public organisations have created entirely new ways to deliver mission-critical services and connect with citizens.

In 2022, change will be the new normal. Embedding organisational resilience through digital transformation will be at the heart of every public sector leader’s agenda.

As we look to the new year, here are a few trends we see in the public sector.

Pressure to provide digital-first experiences will continue to grow

Digitisation is critical to our economic recovery. It’s key to the survival of many businesses and vital for maintaining public services. In the context of climate change and the pandemic the urgency to digitalise public sector processes and services will only grow. 

The future of the public sector will be multi-channel, mobile-first, digitally-enabled. Just as we’re seeing in the commercial sector, enabling connected digital experiences, unifying digital channels and ensuring the workflow across government organisations are top of mind. 

Whether it’s processing applications for a driver’s license or planning permits, citizens should be able to approach the government at one source, without the need to navigate various departments and systems. This is possible using a flexible, scalable engagement platform that puts the citizen first.

Adding to the mission of going digital-first, high on governments’ agendas will be helping their citizens to become digital natives, to take advantage of these new technologies and thrive in the digital economy. In 2022 we can expect to see increased investment in up- and reskilling across society.

As workplaces continue to evolve, so will employee expectations

Across all industries, employees want flexibility, autonomy and choice about where they work, when they work and how they work. Next year we will see more public sector organisations seek to deliver digital‐first and connected employee experiences to drive productivity and retain talent. Leveraging cloud and collaborative technologies and strategies to look after their peoples’ mental health and wellbeing are just some examples of how this can be achieved.

Implementing a strategy that empowers employees with easy access to the apps and data they need to do their jobs most effectively, from anywhere, will be important. So, too, will communication tools like live chat and digital concierge services to address employees’ problems, such as IT support requests. With a secure, unified platform, the right workflow and hyper automation, government agencies will transform employee and citizens’ experiences for the better.

Open data models will become more commonplace

When it comes to data, transparency will continue to be top of mind for public sector organisations and citizens alike. During the pandemic, public sector organisations which have had open data models have proved most agile.

People are prepared to share more data with the government and be open. Using their data effectively is essential to creating a personalised experience, but also to gaining trust, improving engagement, and winning the policy outcomes they want.

Digital transformation is not an easy shift, however. Data silos and legacy systems and insufficient technical capabilities often feel like an anchor that is preventing public sector organisations from getting to where they want to go. In many cases it is not technology that is holding organisations back. Rather, this is caused by the ways which organisations have set up their systems to handle data.

A key priority should be to build a modern data-driven architecture, integrating all data sources to cultivate an open data culture throughout their organisations - and training their workforce to share and leverage data effectively and transparently.

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