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Digital governance structures are the foundation for cost savings and improved digital government experiences
Digital governance is a component of digital government that is increasingly growing in importance. Agencies should consider the opportunities of digital governance, rather than viewing it as just a directive. Agencies can reap the benefits of an effective digital governance structure, such as alignment of investments, campaigns and decisions with the organization’s best interests.
Throughout building a digital governance structure, the agency should consider:
Organization. Who has a vote at the table? Who is responsible for what?
Process. What is the process for making decisions? How will the agency set guidelines and prioritize projects?
Metrics. What metrics will be used to map ongoing progress or determine success of the decisions made and implemented?
This paper explores how several forward-thinking federal government agencies have already begun to embrace and implement some of the core components of digital governance. Agencies like these are quickly learning that digital governance, if properly executed, will support cost savings, customer-centric decision making and will ensure that every digital dollar is spent wisely.
So what exactly is digital governance? Digital governance is the organization, process and performance management model required to facilitate cross-silo decision making on standards, customer experiences and capability investments across digital channels (web, mobile and social).
Digital governance is simply a good idea—and now it’s also an imperative. The White House May 23, 2012 briefing1 calls for Federal government agencies to establish a digital governance structure by November 23, 2012. Why? It’s part of the ongoing push to reduce costs, knock down silos and instill a better decision-making process for digital government investments.
The meter is running, but agencies don’t exactly know the destination. Furthermore, agencies don’t know the metrics by which they will be measured. Agencies also need specific guidance on implementing a digital governance structure, and agencies can’t afford to waste time in beginning the journey toward digital governance.
1.”Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People,” May 23, 2012.
Agencies should consider the opportunities of digital governance, rather than viewing it as just a directive. Digital governance is critical to an agency’s mission for a number of reasons:
Improved citizen and businesses experiences. Good governance enables organizations to invest resources that first improve digital experiences and, ultimately, the customer satisfaction. Digital governance also adds accountability to officers and leaders, which ultimately leads to better customer service to the public.
Cost savings. Good governance helps agencies identify the best opportunities to spend—or cut—that next digital dollar. By truly understanding the digital interactions of users, agencies can focus dollars where the digital customer experience can be dramatically improved, while at the same time, deflecting customer interactions from higher-cost channels. Digital channels are by nature lower-cost channels, thereby enabling even greater cost savings.
Cooperation, not competition. Like all organizations, Federal agencies have directorates or lines of business that often compete for funding. Digital governance supports a shift in mindset where the organization aims to make digital investment decisions that rally around the customer, rather than internal fiefdoms.
Promotes standardization. Digital governance standardizes look and feel across the agency to strengthen the agency’s “brand” and deliver a consistent, cohesive digital experience for users. It also facilitates the work of individual business units. This flexible, integrated framework gives agency staff a foundation on which to build, rather than having to reinvent the wheel for each digital endeavor.
While meeting the mandate, agencies can begin reaping the benefits of an effective digital governance structure, such as alignment of investments, campaigns and decisions with the organization’s best interests. For example, CIOs who need to validate that funds are targeted correctly will now know the answers. Directors of Communication who control several public-facing channels will know where to invest digital dollars to truly move the needle in customer satisfaction as they work to create seamless, multi-channel user experiences.
Digital governance helps to inform other decisions, including:
As a result, agencies will be equipped to do more with less, share resources more effectively, consistently manage diverse IT platforms and ensure a consistent user experience in line with the agency’s goals and messaging.
December 18, 2012
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