- COVID-19 significantly advanced digital initiatives in government—but the evolution is still beginning
- To best serve employees and citizens, organizations need to deploy reliable, accessible digital services
- Governments must consider both the needs of in-person and remote employees and customers in their strategies
👀 👀Why do 56.7% of state and local agencies surveyed feel their citizen engagement and communications are very important? Grab our government research report to get the whole story.
Change happens slowly—and then all at once. There’s no better example of this than changes we’ve seen in the public sector since the COVID-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago.
Once a relative laggard as far as trends such as remote work and digital transformation were concerned, government agencies were catapulted into a new era when COVID-19 hit two years ago. Overnight, these institutions had to find new ways to serve citizens and connect employees.
And with many agencies planning to maintain hybrid and remote work arrangements for some employees for the long term, there’s no going back to the way things used to be.
In our session Government: Hello to new ways to connect employees and serve citizens at RingCentral Connect 2021, we looked at some of the latest stats about the state of digital transformation and hybrid and remote work in government agencies.
We also heard from Susheel Balachandran, Director of Network Infrastructure and Voice Technologies for the City of New York, and Sanford Hess, IT Director for the City of Urbana, about their experiences deploying RingCentral and how they’re addressing the challenges of connecting in this new world of work.
Thank you for your interest in RingCentral.
Must-know stats for government agencies
Here are 7 must-know stats for government agencies from our session.
1. 85% of employees want to be able to work from anywhere1
Having experienced the flexibility and better work-life balance that came along with working from home during the pandemic, most workers don’t want to go back to the office full-time—and government employees are no exception.
2. 54% of government agencies plan to establish a hybrid workforce environment2
According to research conducted in partnership with the Central for Digital Government, a majority of government agencies are on board with employees’ desire for hybrid work.
But government agencies are different from the public sector—and to be able to fulfill their mandates and serve citizens accessibly and equitably, they face unique considerations when it comes to adapting to new workplace models. These include the ability to serve all citizens, whether they’re accessing services digitally or in-person, and the ability to maintain service and access to information in the face of disasters or other disruptions.
3. 69.4% say digital transformation is very important3
COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation in government—and with the move to hybrid, there’s no going back. As more employees work from home or other remote locations, and more citizens access services online, older ways of getting things done won’t cut it anymore.
Digital transformation is the path to the future—enabling seamless, reliable accessibility anywhere and everywhere stakeholders need it.
4. 60% of government agencies have tripled their digital services4
This digital revolution isn’t going to happen sometime in the future—it’s happening now. By 2023, government agencies are expected to triple their digital service delivery.
This creates a double imperative. Not only must agencies deliver helpful, efficient services online, they’ll also need to continue to serve citizens in person to the same standard. That requires flexible tools that seamlessly meet everyone’s needs in both scenarios.
5. 70.8% say reliability is the most important factor in evaluating a unified communications system5
Tasked with keeping the lights on for the country, government agencies can’t afford to go offline if their communications system goes down. But as Susheel described in our session, when COVID-19 first struck in 2020, New York City had to shut down its in-person call centers, removing access to essential resources at an already confusing time.
Switching to RingCentral’s cloud-based system was an important way to reinstate phone services quickly. But cloud access is just one consideration—government agencies also need to feel confident that their cloud communications will be online no matter what comes their way. In that respect, RingCentral’s 99.999% SLA, the gold standard in reliability, is also key.
Video: New York City’s Director of Network Infrastructure and Voice Technologies on deploying RingCentral in 48 hours in the early days of COVID-19
6. 25% of agencies may become more siloed as they implement collaboration tools6
In a hybrid world, cloud collaboration and communication tools are a primary channel for working together with colleagues and citizens. But if not approached holistically, these tools can also be an obstacle to driving an agency’s vision.
With a patchwork of solutions in place, or solutions that give remote workers the short end of the stick—such as video conferencing that doesn’t provide an engaging experience for those attending from other locations—it’s harder for everyone to access the tools and information they need.
This makes achieving internal alignment and seamlessly delivering services more complicated than it should be and opens the potential for organizational challenges and blind spots.
7. With a 62.5% score on customer experience, government agencies lag behind the private sector7
While it’s great to see agencies making progress towards digital transformation, there’s work ahead. Currently end-users—i.e. citizens—rank customer experiences provided by government agencies significantly behind the experiences they have with private-sector brands and organizations.
It’s time to step it up, as poor customer experiences have big ramifications on an agency’s performance, eroding citizen trust, compliance, and other critical outcomes.
What’s next for connected agencies
How are all these stats playing out in reality? Watch our RingCentral Connect session Government: Hello to new ways to connect employees and serve citizens now to hear the New York City Department of Social Services and the City of Urbana’s experiences supporting their evolving workforce and delivering seamless, reliable communications and collaboration capabilities to their agencies with RingCentral.
1 RingCentral and Center for Digital Government, 2020
2 RingCentral and Center for Digital Government, 2020
3 RingCentral and Center for Digital Government, 2020
4 RingCentral and Center for Digital Government, 2020
5 RingCentral and Center for Digital Government, 2020
6 Gartner “Predictions 2021: Governments Tackle Transformation Out of Necessity”
7 Forrester, The US Federal Customer Experience Index, 2021
Originally published Dec 17, 2021, updated Mar 29, 2022