What the Digital Transformation Journey Looks Like for State & Local Government Entities

Published On: June 7th, 20226 min read

If you’re a state or local government leader considering a digital transformation project, you might be wondering what the journey–from beginning to end–might entail.

You know your public sector entity needs new technologies and platforms. You also know your organization needs partners to help you define and stack those technologies into a workable solution. But you might be feeling overwhelmed about the way forward. 

In this post, we map out the four key phases of the digital transformation or modernization journey so that you and your colleagues can envision the steps your organization will need to take to better serve your constituent communities.

First, build your Foundation.

Crucial to the success of any digital transformation journey is a solid foundation built on the alignment of vision, strategy, and people. 

Before a new tech stack is built or a new software platform is selected, your state or local government entity needs to evaluate your organization’s cultural, technological, and operational needs.

When DMI partners with clients during the Foundation phase of the digital transformation journey, we focus on helping government leadership better connect with their constituents by:

  • Defining their “why” — their objectives as they relate to the communities they serve
  • Developing a focus on delivering value and a meaningful experience to their residents and community at large
  • Identifying a core team of digital leaders and stakeholders within their organization to uphold and steer the vision
  • Flagging failed models and projects, risk-averse attitudes, and legacy practices that may interfere with success while — at the same time — planning for contingencies
  • Creating a resilient technology core that delivers trusted, repeatable, and scalable value to your organization

In 2018, the Maryland Department of Human Services contracted with DMI to replace a mainframe-based legacy system with a more modern design, known as the Child Welfare, Juvenile and Adult Management System (CJAMS). During the Foundation phase of this project, DMI worked with the client stakeholders and users to ensure quick adoption with an enhanced user experience. The new system covers the entire welfare management ecosystem – with Intake, Investigation, Assessment, Eligibility, Case Planning, Placement, Referrals, Licensing, Federal Reporting, and Financials — all into one single platform.

Next, build your Ecosystem.

After establishing a solid foundation for your digital transformation journey, you will be ready to build a dynamic, integrated network that supports your mission.

To do that, the role of your office or agency will be to orchestrate an interconnected digital ecosystem that consists of internal solutions, applications, and systems, along with external partners, suppliers, customers, third-party data service providers, and their respective technologies. During this phase, you will lean heavily on the digital leaders and stakeholders your organization identified during the Foundation phase.

Many state and local government leaders need to bring in experts who can, in turn, introduce you to a network of partners and vendors that will supplement your internal teams and continuously support your public sector mission.

For example, when DMI partnered with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to assist with their public behavioral health system, we connected the organization with a strategic partner, Softek, who has strong qualifications in the behavioral health arena. The relationship was a perfect match for the project, for which DMI provides a range of technical and operational support.

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As your organization moves from the Foundation phase into the Ecosystem phase, consider the following tips from our experts:

  • Identify the skill sets you need to achieve your core mission and objectives and bridge the skills gap through collaboration
  • Connect internal systems and applications to eliminate silos while increasing the visibility and movement of data
  • Integrate front-end and back-office technologies to automate processes and workflows from the outside-in, focused on user experience
  • Adopt a continuous strategy approach focused on collaboration, connectivity, expertise, and agility. 

Now, build your Momentum.

After your Foundation is laid and your Ecosystem is in place, you are ready to build Momentum towards advancing your mission and serving your end-user communities.

At this point, many state and local government entities can see the bigger picture related to the constituents they serve. This vantage point should lead to newfound confidence in how to better deliver services to your communities. After all, you now have all the tools you need if you’ve built a solid Foundation and a reliable Ecosystem.

When DMI partnered with the Washington, D.C. office of Lottery and Gaming to manage possible fraud cases, the office was able to move from meeting primary mission objectives to expanding its mission by covering multiple cases simultaneously and automating the reporting of these cases so that the Office would have a dashboard view of their case portfolio.

In another example, DMI was able to help the Maryland Department of Health leverage its existing systems to deploy the GoVax hotline in just two weeks quickly. This case highlights a true partnership in a collaboration that leverages a solid Foundation and a reliable Ecosystem to build Momentum towards a government mission. The omnichannel digital solution suite leveraged text, live chat, and phone calls and included Facebook, WhatsApp, iMessage, and SMS integrations. Real-time, data-driven analytics allowed for agility, measurement, and refinement of the organization’s processes and the campaigns built around it.

Examples like this are possible thanks to cutting-edge technology and partnerships that can be leveraged by state and local governments to better serve existing communities and potentially expand service to new ones.

During this phase, state and local government organizations can…

  • Co-create, prototype, and quickly deploy new services to their communities
  • Leverage AI, automation, and edge computing to gain deeper insights, faster response times, and improved end-user experiences
  • Create new frictionless, human interactions where the technology itself disappears into the background

Finally, look to the Future.

The journey isn’t over after your public sector organization has begun achieving your mission objectives with new Momentum. In this era, true transformation is ongoing and requires resilience, agility, and ongoing strategy.

During this Future phase, your organization will once again lean on the expertise of the digital leaders and innovators that were tasked with helping to build the Foundation. 

These leaders – plus the Ecosystem of partners you have nurtured – will help you keep pace with next-gen technologies and trends that emerge so you can advance your organization’s mission beyond today’s boundaries and limitations.

About DMI

No matter what phase of the digital transformation journey you are on, DMI would love to share our expertise and help you understand where your public sector organization might need to go. At DMI, we help state and local governments leverage digital modernization to deliver improved citizen experience, process efficiency, and compliance through a holistic, human-centric approach.

Visit us at DMINC.com/state-local or email us at [email protected].

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