Public Administration Software
What is Public Administration Software?
Serving the public sector, public administration leaders work behind-the-scenes to evaluate the performance of officials and departments, implement policy, leverage resources, and serve citizens as successfully as possible.
While best practices in public administration have advanced over the years, the technologies needed to implement them more efficiently with less manual labor have evolved only gradually, hindering the efforts of what our team at OpenGov calls Smart Government, i.e., governments that integrate modern technology into day-to-day operations.
Fortunately, new technology trends are bringing government agencies of all sizes into the modern age of cloud-based software that integrates budgeting, performance management, and open data to drive better outcomes. The proof is in the data: Decision-makers who can leverage real metrics, automation, and direct stakeholder feedback through integrated software systems can make more successful choices for their communities.
To learn more about the types of state government software that administrative officials use and compare options review our FAQ on this topic.
Key Software Features
Many public sector organizations are already using government-specific platforms that integrate with and enhance existing tools, such as ERPs. Standalone cloud-based, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), solutions, such as The OpenGov ERP Cloud, give agencies on-demand access to software, which is a much more adaptable option than cumbersome on-premise software that needs constant maintenance.
From small towns and counties to special districts to states, public sector organizations at all levels of government require many of the same features in their software, including:
- Streamlined budgeting process with immediate collaboration capabilities
- Intuitive user interface for budgeting and reporting
- Performance reporting infrastructure and relevant performance measures
- On-demand data
- Meaningful citizen engagement
OpenGov’s Budgeting and Planning software seamlessly ties budget to performance with an intuitive interface and advanced technological capabilities.
When admins can collaborate across departments without back-and-forth emails, they not only save time, but they also build a better budget. There are many reasons why the budgeting process is often slow and tedious, and public administrators need technological solutions to the issues of:
- Scattered and siloed data
- Accounting systems that create and share reports essential for management
- Delayed reports due to inadequate reporting infrastructure
Collaborative budgeting increases involvement across the organization, and regular monitoring of budgetary performance provides an early warning of potential problems.
On one platform, analysts, division leaders, and department heads can create online proposals, justify their adjustments, submit them for review, and draft budget document narrative.
Modern budgeting software should include these two capabilities:
- Automatic revision tracking integrates changes when approved
- Automatic audit trails of proposal justification, approvals, and rejections
Management reports go hand-in-hand with budgeting because they allow managers to track performance, operational, and financial metrics relative to the budget, and adjust as necessary.
When data is no longer siloed within departments and different systems, management reporting improves. Organically, operational performance also improves. Decision-makers who have immediate access to financial and operational performance reports with insights immediately have more information on which to base their planning.
Examples of management reports create using public administration software include:
- Budget-to-Actual Reports
- Annual Reports
- Performance Measures
- Capital and Operational Budgets
- Budget Milestones Reports
- Transaction Reports
The performance aspect of SaaS solutions include capabilities for:
- Visualizing trends and modeling the impact of proposed budget changes
- Transforming financial and performance data into insights
- Providing instant answers needed for decision-making
- Creating quick dashboards
Open Data & Civic Engagement
Stakeholder participation is crucial for any government’s success. When citizens are asked for their input and kept updated on issues that affect them and their families, this transparency builds trust.
Once budgets are created more collaboratively and data becomes more accessible with cloud-based software, the next step is to engage the public. OpenGov’s open data solutions help governments connect with their citizens. With this software, administrators have complete control on the platform on how their data is available for use and consumption through a public-facing open data portal.
Transparent data that provides context and compelling annotations can make difficult conversations with citizens and interest groups easier. It’s also able to improve labor negotiations, obtain better vendor prices, and provide journalists with the information they need to write accurate stories.
Technology & Public Administration in Action
Modern public administration software integrates budgeting, performance management, and open data. But don’t take our word for it; see the OpenGov public sector software in action. Three finance leaders used five strategies that incorporated technology to overcome challenges in their communities.
The Digital Transformation of Public Administration
The history of public administration in the United States is fascinating. If you’re interested in learning more about how public administration software, specifically OpenGov’s SaaS solutions, can serve citizens better and break barriers to success, we recommend checking out OpenGov’s The Digital Transformation of Public Administration white paper on public administration. As we explain in our research, better technology improves public administration. Better administration improves citizens’ lives. And better quality of life improves trust in government institutions.