In a natural disaster, state and local governments are more important than ever for their constituents. But to prepare for the kind of crisis a natural disaster can bring, governments need a contingency plan.
The thought of planning for a natural disaster may seem out of place during a pandemic. But as Avenu’s Ann Kirkbride explains in her latest op-ed, it’s never the wrong time for governments to start preparing for a future crisis. A natural disaster, like a hurricane or a wildfire, won’t wait for the pandemic to subside. Neither should governments.
The key risk that governments have to account for in their contingency plans is workplace and workflow disruption. That’s why an effective digital transformation needs to be a part of every contingency plan. A fire could damage vital government records, and a hurricane could cut power to a government office. But digital records and a remote work set-up are resilient to these disruptions.
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The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the American workplace in both the public and private sectors. Now more than ever before, companies that invest in digital technology can enjoy a significant competitive advantage over their non-digital competitors. That’s because digital technology is key to ensuring business continuity and efficiency in an era of remote work, telecommuting, and social distancing.
Ann Kirkbride, our Senior Business Unit Owner for digital processing services, recently addressed the importance of a digital transformation for local governments. In a June article for Government Technology, she highlights the ways in which digital technology can streamline daily operations, improve efficiency and prepare public sector workforces to weather any crisis-situation, whether it’s a pandemic or a natural disaster.
Through digitalization, local governments can transform costly and time-consuming operations into low-cost, efficient and user-friendly services for their constituents. Digitizing court documents, for example, can enhance the efficiency of criminal justice by enable judges, attorneys and law enforcement officials to scan digital databases for information. Meanwhile, digitizing public records can ensure that public information is easily accessible and immune to physical destruction.
With so much to gain and so little to lose, the digital transformation of government operations and records will define the future of effective public service.