[Webinar Highlights] Powering Better Performance in State Agencies with Accessible Data

November 12, 2019 – David Jones

An increasing number of public sector agencies are realizing the benefits of using cloud-based technology to drive better performance and more informed decision-making, but there still remain some government agencies saddled with legacy technology, and siloed data has prevented them from seeing the value of modern solutions. However, more governments are prioritizing making data readily available for constituents as a way to boost transparency, productivity, and collaboration. With the growing demand for cloud-based technology for the public sector, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies are looking for ways to connect with government consumers to understand their needs when developing cloud solutions.

This topic was the focus of a recent webinar, hosted by Justin Marlowe, Senior Fellow of Governing.com, and featuring Ted Pibil, Business Development Director at OpenGov, Roberto Ruiz, Solutions Consultant for OpenGov, and Joel Riphagen, Senior Advisor at FI$Cal (Financial Information System for California).

One Centralized System

Serving as a springboard for conversation, Riphagen explained the benefits of having an integrated information system like FI$Cal for statewide financial management. The system combines essential services like Budgeting, Accounting, Cash Management, and Procurement into one easily accessible location. Riphagen demonstrated the core principles—namely, a customer focus, diverse solutions, and high agility—that have helped drive not only the success of the system but also the stakeholders who rely on it.

Understanding User Needs

A key takeaway of the webinar conversation was how successful SaaS vendors are customer-focused. The panelists touched on the impractical trends of public sector agencies trying to force technology that was built for the private sector onto government operations and processes. This mindset has not driven the desired results, nor has it increased operational performance and efficiency. Pibil offered ways in which GovTech vendors can provide more curated answers to government-specific problems.

Diverse Solutions for Specific Challenges

One key principle the panel focused on was the wide array of solutions that are finally available for the public sector. Cloud-based solutions have finally provided answers that governments have been looking for. Being able to access data wherever and whenever is simply a kind of power that legacy on-premise technology has never been able to deliver to users.

Being Comfortable with Change

On the topic of change management, the panelists also discussed the ways in which agility is essential to the success of both SaaS vendors and government users alike. They spoke of the challenges accompanying large-scale implementations, but vendors having a high level of support and understanding goes a long way in alleviating those challenges. Referencing the large implementation of FI$Cal, Riphagen assured listeners, “If we can move into the cloud, everyone can.”

Pibil went a step further and added that successful change management is very much tied to a particular way of thinking. “Don’t replicate the old mindset with the process of how you’ve been doing things,” Pibil said. “Take advantage of doing something new and different.”

For more information on what options your government should consider when making data more accessible, and to hear the full discussion above, view the on-demand webinar.