Governments seek to serve and protect their communities through the delivery of essential public services. It’s peoplethe government’s own workforcethat make these services possible. From elected officials and tax administrators to social workers, police officers, and firefighters, the government is comprised of qualified individuals who have eagerly answered the call to serve their communities.
According to Gartner, “Government employees are too often battling with friction in antiquated citizen-facing and back-office systems and increasing cycle completion times, leaving them frustrated and sometimes cynical.”1 The good news is that governments are actively seeking ways to mitigate this concern across multiple agencies.
Across industries, while end-to-end digital transformation initiatives are redefining how employees perform their roles and how services are delivered, governments need to take it a step further by investing in the necessary training and skills needed to recruit and retain a digitally-savvy workforce. Per IDC, “by 2025, 40 percent of national governments will adopt immersive learning technology in critical sectors to accelerate education, hone skills, and engage and retain employees”.2 This is because government employees care about a variety of factors including improved well-being and the availability of technology that makes it easier to effectively do their job.
Microsoft for Government partners with governments around the world to help empower the government workforce and improve employee engagement, streamline workflows, and uncover actionable insights across agencies. We are committed to helping improve the lives of the people who keep our communities safe and operational using innovative technology. This commitment takes shape in different ways across the public sector. Showcased below are impactful examples of how Microsoft has helped accelerate digital transformation within government agencies and helped empower the workforce to achieve their mission.
As the primary delivery arm for information and communications technology, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) has been driving the government’s transformational policies for more than 20 years.
“MITA seeks out the most innovative initiatives to lead our country’s ambitious transformation toward a first-class digital society. As we deployed more and more programs, we needed a consolidated workplace to improve collaboration and accelerate service delivery, with security standards matching our government requirements.”Mariano Debono, Manager of Software License Management, MITA.
MITA implemented Microsoft 365 productivity tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint online to connect more than 23,000 public service employees across all ministries on a single platform.
“The single collaboration hub simplifies work and makes communication a lot quicker. For example, we sometimes had to spend half the day traveling to attend one meeting with our ministry colleagues on the Island of Gozo. These meetings can now be held remotely.”Jonathan Cassar, CTO, MITA.
This is just one example of how government agencies, like MITA, are partnering with Microsoft for Critical Infrastructure to transform government operations and empower the workforce to be more productive, collaborative, and efficient.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program’s participation rates were declining rapidly nationwide leaving the most vulnerable people without serviceeven though they were eligible. This decline was due in large part to duplicative and cumbersome registration processes across adjunct programs like Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
New Mexico WIC saw an opportunity to reverse the downward trend using technology to streamline processes yet program staff members often spend their brief time with clients gathering basic information already provided to other state agencies, saddling state administrators with an additional burden of 10 to 15 minutes per applicant.
“WIC offers a holistic approach. We educate folks about nutrition and lifestyle and maximize their SNAP and WIC dollars.”Gavino Archuleta, Program Analyst, New Mexico WIC.
Teaming up with the Human Services Department (HSD), they integrated the application process across state-administered programs. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 and data analytics through Microsoft Power BI, the teams built a solution that notifies the New Mexico WIC program whenever an individual qualifies for a new program. Then, the program informs the individuals of their ability to receive benefits. This has increased access to key resources for vulnerable populations and minimized paperwork, freeing staff time, and letting nutritionists focus on nutrition.
New Mexico WIC is an inspiring example of how public health and social services agencies can partner with Microsoft to modernize processes and reduce the administrative burden on employees so that they can spend more time doing what they loveserving the community.
The Bank of Canada isn’t just your neighborhood bank. As its name suggests, it’s everyone’s bankit’s Canada’s bank. As such, it has great responsibilities which include setting monetary policy, distributing currency, and maintaining the country’s financial stability. This is all captured in its public mission “to regulate credit and currency in the best interests of the economic life of the nation.”
The pursuit of that goal requires significant computing resources, and the bank’s IT department is crucial in executing the day-to-day operations. The bank decided that it was important to develop and maintain the skills required to realize that mission. Using new technologies, adapting to new ways of working, and designing and operating new digital products and services all require new skills. An ongoing training initiative identified immediate and emerging skills and integrated associated upskilling courses into an online learning experience platform.
Claude Guimont, Senior Learning Specialist, and his team worked closely with Microsoft to find opportunities to incorporate an ideal mix of online on-demand and instructor-led content that would best fit the bank’s transformation effort. He says, “working with the Microsoft Learn team, we identified and refined that content to build self-paced modules starting with fundamentals all the way through to certification, if that’s what the learner wants.” It’s important to provide staff with the means to pursue both highly focused task-specific training and topics of less targeted, more general interest that may lead to future opportunities.
Bank of Canada is a prime example of how public finance organizations can empower their workforce with the skills required to digitally transform the workforce in order to ultimately drive informed budgeting, provide financial stability, and serve the public todayand into the future.
As criminal activities are on the rise, public safety and justice agencies are increasingly gravitating towards digital toolstools that help address situational boundaries that bad actors have long exploited. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) conducts criminal investigations across the state and supports agencies within the state when needed.
North Carolina SBI chose Microsoft 365 as their secure communication platform to help accelerate collaboration and secure data sharing. This has helped inform positive outcomes for their employees and the communities they serve. The integration of these collaborative applications has contributed to heightened effectiveness in combating crime in this day and age.
Ease of use and versatility is key in ensuring the adoption of any new technology in a work environment. Since Microsoft Teams can be installed on many mobile devices, it goes along with the employees on missions and lends a hand towards real-time collaboration, data sharing, and virtual work while in the field.
“Microsoft Teams integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps, it’s familiar and it’s easy to use. Our agents are busy people who really appreciate tools that just work”.Mike Denning, IT Director, North Carolina SBI.
Microsoft also helps investigators manage the large quantities of digital evidence involved in modern investigations. While only 20 years ago it was unusual to have digital evidence at the center of a case, today digital evidence is involved in nearly 90 percent of all crimes committed. It’s now a significant part of the evidence that determines a defendant’s outcome. Without the help of innovative technology such as Azure Cognitive Services, analyzing all that data would be a massive undertaking for investigators.
This is one of the many great examples of how Microsoft for Public Safety and Justice helps to be more efficient and effective.
Microsoft is continuously inspired by our government customers around the world and their commitment to serving their communities and employees. We proactively play a key role in their digital transformation initiatives and provide innovative technology solutions that empower their hybrid workforce.
1Gartner, Top Trends in Government for 2022: Total Experience, Apeksha Kaushik, Arthur Mickoleit, Daniel Snyder, 18 January 2022.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
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Source: Microsoft Industry Blog