As digital solutions are becoming more prevalent in the average American’s everyday life, from travel to banking and even healthcare, it is easy to see where the government would not be far behind. However, this is one area that continues to remain behind the times.
The first step the government should take is to look at the digital experiences that are available to the public. With one of the highest amounts within budgets being money put towards the application process, it would be quite cost-effective to implement digital methods. On average, an in-person application can cost around $35 to complete, while the same form would cost just about ten cents to fill in online.
Digital signatures should also be allowed. This way, government employees can sign documents no matter where they are at the moment. This not only helps to reduce costs but also helps to maintain the workflow.
Next, agencies should take a closer look at the total cost of ownership and technology that is commercially driven, which can often be easier to maintain over a long period of time, thus making them more cost-effective.
Currently, agencies tend to gravitate toward custom-developed solutions. These solutions often come with a higher price tag and take a longer time to implement. Almost 80% of the IT budget for the majority of government agencies is spent on maintaining legacy systems.
Despite the creation of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program five years ago to help government agencies move to cloud computing, many agencies are still nowhere near fully migrating to the cloud. Doing so could result in major savings as services are shared.
Changes must be made to make FedRAMP effective, including its integration into the acquisition process to meet federal standards better.
In addition, with the increase of cybersecurity threats over the past few years, federal agencies need to take a closer look at their data-centric security measures. Doing so will help to protect information and keep a closer watch over the most sensitive information.
Lastly, IT funding needs to be reevaluated. Funding should help agencies quickly and efficiently move from legacy systems to digital solutions across the country.