GX Conversations on Service Continuity: Expert Takes In The Times Of Crisis - Dr Peter Pirnejad
How can governments maintain continuity of services they provide to citizens, residents and businesses in these times of crisis? Listen from service pioneers, policy experts, government leaders, innovators and thinkers from across the globe.
In the last few days, our world has completely changed. In such times, it is imperative that we reach out to our experts and leaders and guides, and use their wisdom to educate and inform our people to enable them to make some sense of today and tomorrow in our areas of common interest. For government services, the first objective for any government today is to maintain the continuity of services to their citizens, residents and businesses. Most governments are responding to this in their own ways.
GX reached out to some global leaders and asked them about their opinion on service continuity and requested them to address key questions like the following:
- How do you think that governments can maintain continuity of services they provide to citizens, residents and businesses in these times of crisis, and make sure that vital services are still accessible and available? Can you outline some key actions that they could take?
- What are the key factors that governments should consider when figuring out the continuity for such services? Can you outline some key factors that will/shall drive the decision-making process here?
The responses from these leaders and experts shall be presented in this series over the next few days. In this part, we present the views of: Dr. Peter Pirnejad, Senior Director Global Public Sector at Oracle
Dr Peter Pirnejad: "The public sector, as an industry, is high-touch. Services provided to the public as well as internal operations require a significant amount of person to person interaction. Up to this point governments have not had to operate in a virtual environment for any extended period of time. Although eGovernment has been a concept that many public agencies had thought through, for many agencies this has been nothing more than an academic exercise. Today, as governments face the harsh realities of running their organizations virtually they struggle to respond to citizen inquiries as well as managing public meetings. They have been using traditional tools, such as email, tele-conference tools, and phone calls to virtualize their service model. Simple tasks such as running payroll, paying invoices, or sending out a press release result in a torrent of emails and attachments that grind operations to a crawl and force organizations to prioritize their most pressing tasks.
My recommendation is first and foremost, prioritize. In this crises, it is not time for digital transformation or operational overhaul. The first step is to meet operational mandates until such time that additional capacity can be found so agencies can continue to offer the full suite of services they once offered. It is also not the time to replace traditional legacy on premise solutions. Rather, my recommendation is to find a way to virtualize those critical parts of government in a way that provides staff the ability to work remotely, automate workflows, and integrate into legacy system. This should be an Omni-channel entry point and user experience to allow everything from a resident submitting a service request to a payroll clerk submitting a request for timesheet approvals. Oracle has recently launched such a solution, “Virtual City Hall,” that is able to provide both staff and residents an easy-to-use omni-channel access into government services and operational workflows that would normally require one to be on-site and in-line. Furthermore, this solution has the ability to both integrate into existing legacy systems as well as extend into a more permanent feature of government that both expands its ability to meet citizen needs as well as opens up new doors for cities to offer remote work capabilities to their workforce.
This short term solution can be implemented in days not months and helps government become operational. Meanwhile this platform can be integrated into existing legacy systems to ensure this solution doesn’t become another step in the process. Rather it will reduce email traffic, ensure work is tracked and measured and progress can be followed and monitored. We have already seen success in this approach and we hope that public agencies will see this an opportunity to adopt simple solutions that can be expanded in the future to work toward a more holistic digital transformation of government services and open the door for more remote work capabilities."