Government agencies have been on the web since the 1990s, but today’s digital government strategies look very different. Far from the static sites of past years, great government sites today must be less agency-centric and more reflective of the needs of citizens and others. Sites need to be engaging, easy to navigate, available on any device and make it easier than ever for citizens, businesses and other stakeholders to access. Re-imagining digital for citizen engagement is a major investment, but the payoff is a more efficient, accessible and responsive government.
Many government agencies have yet to cross the chasm from ’90s-style web presence to modern era digital experiences. Federal agencies have an opportunity to lead by example, aided by the right strategies that help them move fast and be more responsive.
Digital strategies aren’t just about increasing user engagement; they’re opportunities to bring citizen services into a digital realm and gain long-term cost savings through delivering new, better, more cost effective services across digital channels. Managed cloud platforms and open source software are enabling agencies to meet user needs while providing substantial cost savings.
What is a managed cloud platform?
In the early days of the internet, running digital services on-premises was standard practice. Internal resources were dedicated to building the infrastructure, and then, running applications that ran the website and delivered limited services online. An on-premises solution is like buying all the ingredients and making a pizza from scratch in your kitchen — requiring you to put in the time and effort.
Today, service providers like Amazon Web Services are focused on offering infrastructure-as-a-service (often referred to as “cloud hosting”) to anyone looking to run cloud-based solutions. IaaS provisions the hardware; your team still needs to manage all the systems and software that run atop of it. Your IT team will also need to build the orchestration layer with features like security, monitoring and failover, DevOps tools, and a support team.
A complete solution requires a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), the next evolution of digital experience management. PaaS comes with the orchestration layer pre-built, and provides organizations with a software stack specifically designed to support digital experience delivery. It adds applications that automate key requirements for scale and security, including automated monitoring, security and DDoS protection, as well as hooks and prebuilt APIs for seamless integrations. The platform brings this all together, enabling your developers to work on strategic initiatives that improve services and allowing organizations to focus on the experience itself rather than the infrastructure behind it.
Digital experience management requires much more agility than web management solutions of the past. PaaS environments today allow digital teams to focus on creating experiences that serve users and connecting all the systems required to power those experiences. So when you start evaluating providers, discover who is powering the experience platforms for agencies that are doing this well. Pick the vendors that understand the particular needs and challenges of federal agencies and are committed to public sector service. Governance requires constant diligence, and those providers that have established protocols around FedRAMP, ISO 27001 and other security and compliance protocols have made big investments to make their platforms ready for agency adoption. Set a plan for evaluating opportunities where a fully managed PaaS may bring welcome cost and productivity efficiencies. (+)