Industry Insights: Electronic document management
Government Product News: How has your industry’s involvement with the public sector evolved over the past few years?
Sam Hall: Electronic document management systems used to be simply seen as digital filing cabinets, but today, the industry’s leading vendors provide functionality that goes well beyond storage and retrieval. This includes robust records management, process automation and data analytics that can inform strategic decision-making.
Forward-thinking public leaders understand that digitally managing information is critical to not only back-office efficiency but also to efficiently delivering public services and enabling agencies to scale up services as populations grow.
GPN: What is the biggest misunderstanding/myth that you think public sector professionals may believe about doing business with your industry or using your industry’s products?
SH: One of the biggest misconceptions is that technology alone can solve information management problems. An electronic document or records management solution is not effective unless employees use it to its full potential. I’d encourage public sector professionals to take the time to map data, develop information governance policies, design efficient processes and implement change management strategies to ensure a successful and long-lasting records management program. Implementing records management across every department is also critical to mitigating risk. A centralized repository and automated workflows empower public sector officials to collaborate effectively with minimal error and securely share information across agencies. Electronic forms give service-oriented departments a streamlined process for managing and improving service requests.
GPN: What resources can elected officials use to educate themselves more on your industry and its importance to government operations?
SH: Elected officials who are interested in learning more about digital transformation, engaging the digital citizen, and mitigating information risk should develop a strong relationship with their CIO or technology department. A strong technical/administration/policy relationship can be quite powerful in facilitating the use of technology to improve citizen and agency ROI.
GPN: What should local government professionals consider most when buying and/or using products within your industry?
SH: I recommend government leaders consider the total cost of ownership when implementing enterprise-wide technology systems. Leading products are designed for off-the-shelf deployment with minimal ongoing costs and flexible licensing models. Also consider the onboarding, training and ongoing support that vendors offer, which will facilitate user adoption and empower users to identify new and improved processes. Products should align with a government’s digital transformation goals, and have the ability to support the organization through all the phases of its journey, or different departments’ journeys, regardless of how mature their use of the technology is.
GPN: What future developments can governments expect to see from this industry?
SH: Governments can expect to see leading vendors offer features that accelerate process automation and adoption, as well as more, improved integrations with other core technologies such as GIS and ERP for complete information sharing across applications. Enhancements to security remain a priority, in particular as organizations share sensitive data related to finance, health, and law enforcement. Aside from enhancements to securing information, integrated citizen management and robotic process automation will provide governments with additional capabilities in the near future.