A Guide for Texas Government
Guidance for Digital Transformation
Texas government has moved to a workforce that relies on collaborative tools, digital documents, expanded bandwidth, and cybersecurity protections as employees work from home. Technology has transformed the way state agencies work, but this is only the beginning.
Agency IT leaders can prepare their organization for digital transformation by understanding key considerations and the next steps for advancing digital government.
Texas government leaders must understand the current environment and identify what is needed to successfully plan and implement digital transformation. Public sector organizations must consider the components needed to transition from the initial stages to defined, managed, and fully optimized digital government.
People and Organization - Initial
A digital transformation strategy must consider the impact change has on customers, employees, partners, and other stakeholders. By understanding customer needs and expectations at the beginning of the transformation journey, state agencies can improve the customer experience and reduce costs. Likewise, agencies must understand their staff’s concerns about how change will impact their roles. Managed properly, digital transformation can be viewed as an enhancement to employees’ contributions, and not a replacement. It is important to have a change management plan that includes the employees’ perspective and provides messaging for the transition in a positive way.
Agency leadership can better understand organizational readiness by using maturity model tools. As shown in Figure 4, key areas for evaluating maturity include information security and continuity planning. Fewer agencies evaluate maturity for cloud, identity and access management, governance, mobility, and quality management. All are key for comprehensive digital transformation.
Policies and Governance - Developing
Agency leaders should understand the laws that define the parameters for digital government and based on such understanding, identify policies and governance that need to be strengthened. As shown in Figure 5, state agencies have basic policies for digital data and records. Agency leaders may need to rethink their policy and governance in areas affected by emerging technology. For example, identity management in most government organizations is built on an in-person identity verification system. The virtual world, however, requires incorporating seamless authentication to ensure the public can securely conduct their government business using mobile applications. Similarly, telework is changing how agencies provide employee access to multiple systems from multiple devices. Policies and governance in these areas must be addressed for successful digital transformation.
Agencies should also consider the policies needed to enable broader access to digital services, streamlined processes, and digitization by expanding the use of digital signatures. While the tools are available, agencies may not yet have policies and governance in place for using them. For example, 85% of state agencies responding to the 2020 IRDR reported using online forms or applications. Yet of those agencies that accept online forms, 33% report they require customers to mail a copy of the application or form with a signature. Organizations must have policies and governance in place to facilitate the changes that come with digital transformation.
Processes and Services - Defined and Managed
It is important to understand which processes and services are ready for transformation. Some processes that work well with transformative technology solutions include:
- fine-tuned, well-documented processes that have current instructions or standard operating procedures;
- processes with decisions based on standardized, predictive rules with little reliance on human intuition;
- high-volume, manual, and repetitive processes with many transactions that are run frequently (daily, weekly, or monthly) and involve manual work that is prone to human error;
- low-exception-rate processes with a limited number of variations that require different handling procedures;
- standard, readable, electronic inputs to processes from tools like Excel, Word, email, and formats like XML, PPT, and readable PDFs; and
- high-cost processes with strong return-on-investment (ROI) potential that will provide a labor cost savings, allowing workers to focus on mission-critical activities.
In addition to transforming internal processes, agencies must continue to identify the services where improved technology can help better meet customer expectations. As shown in Figure 6, Texas agencies are digitally transforming services, with 88% reporting progress in digital services in the 2020 IRDR and 94% reporting exploration of mobile and digital methods.
Technology Solutions - Optimized
Careful planning can help agencies select timely, cost efficient tools. Agency leaders should consider the automation requirements for carrying out their agency’s mission and look for solutions that leverage shared services and ready-to-use applications. They should also consider solutions that include emerging technology such as AI and robotic process automation (RPA) and services for maintaining and operating existing automations.
Before selecting specific products or solutions, agencies need to consider: costs, storage, and long-term preservation of records; compliance with security, accessibility, and other standards; management of data assets; and the emerging technologies that are the core of digital transformation.
Instead of building their own applications for conducting state business, state agencies can use Texas by Texas (TxT) to provide a single user account with stored payment information for Texas government transactions.
At times, a mailed copy of a form with signature is necessary to comply with statutory requirements such election integrity laws (Texas Election Code, Section 13.002) or to assure positive identification of customers.