The COVID-19 crisis compounded longstanding challenges but also unleashed opportunities to overhaul how public services are delivered. It radically accelerated changes that governments knew were coming but did not expect to see so soon.
For starters, the crisis shook loose long-held assumptions about where government work must be completed. In the Accenture Technology Vision 2021 for public service survey, 42% of public service employees report that their organization’s metrics indicate productivity has stayed the same or improved despite remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an additional 32% don’t have metrics but believe productivity stayed the same or improved.
The pandemic also accelerated customer service innovation as agencies faced skyrocketing demand. Some responded by quickly implementing new contact center capabilities to support remote visitations and citizen-facing virtual assistants to manage demand.
And the crisis has provided undeniable evidence of why cloud is not just a nice-to-have. Readily available platforms and data are critical to supporting joined-up public service decision making and service delivery in a world of relentless change.
While immediate changes are clear, there is less clarity than ever into what the long-term future holds. What we do know: The journey of reinvention has only just begun.