May 24, 2024

Innovate Biz Pro

Innovation that Brightens the Future

An intro to innovation in the U.S. government

5 min read

Customer experience in the government sector is the sum of the public’s interactions with any government service, from how we contact our state’s social services and emergency services to waste management, public transportation, and healthcare. A positive experience is crucial for building public trust, but the bar is continually being raised. Digital communications like video and chat, automation and AI, mobility, and so much more are now expected, especially after the pandemic: 94% of state technology leaders agree that COVID increased the demand for digital government services. 

Governments cannot put their head in the sand and ignore change, but they operate in a highly complex, data-sensitive environment and can’t afford to take on fundamental business risks in the name of innovation. In this guide, you’ll learn more about the importance of innovation in the U.S. government as well as “innovation without disruption,” a strategic approach to helping governments pursue innovation at their pace using existing systems as the gateway to new digital technologies. 

Why should governments and the public sector innovate? 

Innovation isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a necessity for businesses and governments across the world to keep pace with the evolving needs of citizens alongside rapid technological advancements. Augmenting existing systems is critical for three reasons:

Better citizen engagement 

Government services should be accessible, efficient, and tailored to the needs of citizens. If we’re being honest, this isn’t always the case. The pandemic exposed a lot of these gaps, and many still exist today. In 2023, nearly one-third of U.S. states received warnings from federal Medicaid officials that their lengthy call center wait times could be causing people to hang up – and give up – as they attempted to renew their coverage. Solutions like AI-powered chatbots and self-service portals can streamline interactions, reduce these alarming wait times, and enable more personalized experiences. 

Digital innovation is also crucial to improve citizen safety, specifically with Next Generation 911 (NG911). NG911 uses a combination of digital networks, databases, and software systems to streamline emergency communications between citizens, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs, or the local emergency call centers that take 911 calls), and emergency responders. This is a major innovation initiative that is on the rise in the government sector: learn more with comprehensive guide to NG911.

Better operational efficiency

Nearly all (89%) of IT decision makers agree that data analytics is the lifeblood of modern government. Why? Because AI can crunch down and produce actionable data in seconds to significantly improve operational efficiency, cost optimization, service delivery, and compliance. For example, this kind of AI-driven data can provide governments with new insights into where and why money is spent across different units or programs. Did you know that close to 20% of government revenues worldwide, or about $5 trillion, is estimated to go missing each year? 

Legacy systems often create silos that lead to inefficiencies and redundancies within government agencies. Innovative digital tech like AI, automation, and data analytics help break down these silos, enabling better collaboration, faster decision-making, and more efficient resource allocation. 

Better business and citizen outcomes

Innovation opens the door to data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and evidence-based decision-making that help governments anticipate citizen needs, identify potential issues proactively, and develop more effective policies and programs. Here are two examples:

  • By analyzing data on traffic patterns and infrastructure conditions, a city’s transportation department could leverage predictive analytics to find out which roadways, intersections, or bridges are most likely to experience high congestion or risk of incident. From here, they could proactively adjust traffic signal timing, schedule road repairs, or invest in infrastructure upgrades as needed. 
  • Governments could leverage community health data to create proactive, targeted wellness campaigns that improve patient care. You could dig deeper to personalize these campaigns based on patient data insights, like who is overdue for their annual flu shot, not up to date on vaccinations, or who is recommended for screenings associated with chronic diseases.  

What are the business benefits of innovation in government?

We’ve already discussed improvements in operational efficiency. Let’s look at three more business benefits for government agencies pursuing innovation: 

Cost savings

The cloud is where digital innovation happens, but cost is also a huge incentive for making the move to cloud platforms because it reduces infrastructure and maintenance costs and frees up resources for other priorities. All in all, it’s a great way to get more for less with potential cost reductions of 50-75% in some instances.  

Increased productivity

Innovative new technologies can streamline processes, reduce manual tasks, and empower employees to focus on higher-value activities, leading to increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction rates, and better resource utilization.

The ability to attract and retain top talent

Modernization is key to becoming a destination place to work. It makes government agencies more appealing to highly qualified professionals and ensures they possess the talent necessary to drive innovation and deliver better services.

How is Avaya best positioned to help governments innovate?

For so long, we’ve been fed the narrative that innovation requires upheaval, disruptive updates, or entire system replacements. This is how enterprises find themselves in painfully long transformation projects that have statistically high failure and abandonment rates. Avaya’s argument goes against the grain: innovation doesn’t have to be inherently disruptive. Would you rather have great innovation for which the value comes today, or great innovation for which the value comes years from now and that future is uncertain? The choice is obvious. 

Why can’t you stay in your environment and build on existing investments to get to new modernization? This is the innovation without disruption strategy we’re taking at Avaya, and it has prompted real traction and results with our customers in government.  

  • You don’t have to risk resiliency to embrace innovation. You can continue operating seamlessly while consuming innovation at your pace, getting to the promised business value faster. 
  • You don’t have to rip out what’s working for your business. You can integrate cutting-edge capabilities like AI, cloud, and data analytics into your current infrastructure while maintaining secure, resilient operations that power mission-critical services.
  • You don’t have to chase innovation. You can let innovation come to you, specifically by working with partners who can deliver an integration experience to consume new tech in a way that makes sense for your business. 

Innovation doesn’t need to be inherently disruptive, and Avaya’s innovation without-disruption approach proves it. 

Learn more about how Avaya helps the public sector accelerate digital innovation.

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