In the past, government agencies have been reluctant to adopt new technologies for fear of increasing the cost of their services, of alienating citizens that may not be "technologically savvy", and simply because it's challenging to implement something that so many will need to use. If you've ever had to navigate the infamous "red tape" of government operations, it's easy to see why government agencies have been a bit hesitant to modernize their outdated legacy systems. When you're accountable for implementing software for such a substantial number of people, it's important to weigh all of your options and make the right choice.
With that being said, there is a strong push from the top to modernize government technology. The United States Digital Services is a branch of the US government that is focused purely on improving government practices through the use of technology. In a recent report, the USDS calls for a revolution in technology in the US government. According to this report, the US government spends over $80 billion a year on technology projects. While this is a large number, it is also a number that is likely to decrease if government agencies adopt more modern software development practices.
In the private sector, a company can get a lot of value from a new software product for a lot less than $80 billion. In the US government, however, the cost of a project is often inversely related to the value of the product built. This is why it is important for government agencies to adopt modern product development processes that will help them build software that is cheaper and better.
The solution? Custom software.
With custom software, government agencies don't have to worry about hobbling together multiple off-the-shelf solutions, instead, they can have an all-encompassing software solution specifically tailored to their needs.
In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of apps and software solutions available to the government sector and the features these apps should have.
The State of Software and Applications in the Government Sector
Government is a very large market with a lot of potential for application development. Fifteen years ago, the idea of a government app would have been laughable. Nowadays, however, citizens demand that their government is as user-friendly as their favorite websites.
And many governments are relying on their citizens to help them choose and develop user-friendly software that will improve their lives. For example, in Germany, the government has been known to use design contests to crowdsource new app ideas, and in England, the government has launched a program called “Designing for Digital” to help public servants make their services more attractive to users.
Software can be used to improve the government sector in many ways. For example, software can be used to improve the way that people register for health care. People can be automatically registered when they interact with certain government agencies, which would improve the speed at which citizens can sign up for health care. Additionally, software can be used to improve the process by which citizens apply for passports or driver's licenses. Software can help to automate the intricate processes required to apply for these licenses, which would also improve the speed at which citizens can begin using these documents.
The Market for Government Applications and Software Today
In 2019, the government software market worldwide was valued at around $14.5 billion U.S. dollars, but the government software market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.7% over the next five years.
Government organizations are rethinking cultural norms, organizational structures, and governance mechanisms in order to leverage AI resources more efficiently. Scaling AI across their agencies means taking a different approach to creating and managing machine learning models, getting needed skills and talent, and establishing accountability.
e-Government is the catalyst for new system purchases, especially among developing countries. Apps designed to improve tax revenue collection will continue to take precedence over other front-office systems, and the following departments are prioritizing new software over other initiatives: Public Safety, Grants and Performance Management, Computer Assisted Dispatch, Jail Management, Courts Management, Tax Collections, Records Management, Financials, HR, Procurement.
Types of Government Applications and Software Being Built Today
We've discussed some of the areas that applications and software can be useful in, and we've touched on what the market for this technology looks like. But what kind of apps are currently being built today, and how do they help professionals in the government sector? In this section, we'll breakdown some of the most popular application types in development for this sector.
Performance Management Software
Performance management software is a set of applications that enable managers to monitor the progress of their employees. In the government sector, performance management software is meant to be used for both managerial and operational purposes. Managers can use performance management software to manage their team members, track goals, and monitor the progress of their employees. Operational users can use this software to track KPIs and to monitor the progress of their projects.
This kind of software is a vital part of any government operation because organizations can use it to quickly track what is going on in their organization and correctly allocate resources to the right projects.
Planning and Budgeting Software
Planning and budgeting software for the government sector is a group of project management tools that helps government agencies plan projects, allocate resources, and allocate funding. This software helps government agencies minimize their risk by collecting information about their current projects, identifying trends in their spending habits, and evaluating the potential costs of new projects. This planning software helps government agencies maintain their focus on their goals by serving as a central resource for project-related information.
Planning and budgeting software for the government sector is important because it helps government agencies get more accurate estimates about how much funding they will need. This can help them avoid budget shortfalls.
Special Access Programs (SAPs)
A Special Access Program (SAP) is a government program that is authorized to operate under special provisions. Most often, these programs are very high-level and are authorized to operate without public oversight.
A typical SAP is created by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to protect sensitive projects from the public. A SAP is typically created for intelligence operations, but you can also use SAPs for military operations, which are also classified. SAPs are essential for the United States to counter threats against its security and to advance its interests abroad.
The federal government is a complex bureaucracy with countless roles, rules, and regulations. It is a challenge for employees to keep track of these rules and regulations, much less to share them with others. Communications software for the government sector therefore helps keep employees, contractors, and vendors informed of updates, changes, and deadlines. It also creates a record of regulatory changes that will make it easier for employees to keep up as the government implements new policies.
Communications software is important to the government sector because government agencies must communicate with one another and with the public. This means that there is a great deal of information that needs to be transmitted, and that there is a great deal of information that needs to be stored securely. Communications software allows agencies to receive and transmit this information in a secure and efficient way.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is a system that organizes data and automates the business procedures for an entire company. Governments, large corporations, and small businesses all use ERP software to streamline the way that they handle their day-to-day operations.
ERP software is designed to manage processes for broad swaths of the business. It typically includes modules for financial management, human resources, supply chain management, project management, and customer relationship management.
This type of software is important to the government sector because it helps government workers make better decisions about the fiscal and management operations that will keep their organization running smoothly and efficiently.
Government Reporting Software
Reporting software for the government sector allows companies to automate the creation of reports that are essential to the internal operation of government agencies. It is an important part of nearly any government agency's budgeting process because it allows government workers to see how their departments are spending money. These reports are often published online so that citizens can access them as well.
Ultimately, this type of software allows government organizations to generate reports on demand, to be more efficient with their resources, and to have more data about which services are being used.
Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Citizen Relationship Management Software (CRM) for the government sector allows agencies to keep track of every person they interact with. This might be everyone who makes inquiries about programs or services, or it might be everyone who needs to be notified when an agency receives a grant. CRM software also allows agencies to track what questions people ask, what issues they need help with, and what concerns they have for the future.
CRM software is extremely valuable because it saves agencies time and money. It helps them organize their workload, maximize their resources, and create a more positive image in the eyes of the public. For example, a government agency that has a CRM software can easily share a list of its active programs with the public, showing which ones are in need of funding and which ones are still going strong. This makes it easier for people to donate to the cause.
Public Works Software
Public Works Software is a cloud-based project management platform designed to bring transparency to government organizations. The platform automates many of the redundant, manual tasks that are common in government, making it easier for employees to manage their projects. It also allows the public to track the progress of government projects, which can help increase public trust in government.
Public Works Software is an industry-specific software solution. It is built for government agencies, and it is specifically designed to allow them to create, manage, and deploy public works projects. Public Works Software combines cloud services, project management, and workflow automation to streamline the public works process. A government agency can use it to instantly develop public works projects, accurately track project deadlines, create standardized workflows for future projects, and automate the entire project lifecycle.
Features That Government Apps & Software Should Have
The following features are a vital part of any software application built for the government sector because they help to build trust between the government and its people:
- Security - If a government application is compromised, then it can become part of a botnet that is used to attack other systems.
- Data Integrity - Government employees should be able to trust that their data is secure and that it is not be edited or deleted by unauthorized personnel.
- Compatibility - Government applications should be able to communicate with other applications and systems.
- User-friendly - Government applications should be designed with user experience in mind. They should be simple, easy to use, and provide clear, actionable information to the user. A clean user experience means that the government is taking the time to present itself in the best way possible, and a purpose that is clearly communicated helps users to understand why they are using the application.
- Flexibility - Government employees should be able to customize and modify the applications and systems they use.
- Customizable - Government agencies may be required to add information to their reports to comply with grant award requirements. They may need to add information to comply with their own internal policies.
- Reliability - The government must be able to retain applications and data that it needs for legal and investigative purposes.
- Accessibility - Information should be accessible to all users, regardless of their location or device, and all content should be up-to-date and accurate.
Build Custom Government Software Solutions with Crowdbotics
Crowdbotics is a full-service app development company with an abundance of experience working with enterprise clients to build the solutions that they need. Whether you're looking for applications to help you streamline your operations or more efficiently handle citizen programs, government staff and inventory, and accounting, we can build the high-quality tools you need 3x faster than manual development. To learn more, get in touch with us today for a detailed estimate!