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Does Digital Government Make Sense? Sure, But Funding, Security Are In The Way, Workers Say

Since the implementation of President Barack Obama’s Digital Government Strategy in 2012, the federal government has taken steps to bring citizen-facing services into the 21st-century. The directive aims to transform government through better use of information technology and data; modernizing the federal government’s IT infrastructure and closing the IT gap between the private and public sectors.

To get a better understanding of how agencies are processing digital government practices and policies two years into the initiative, Xerox (NYSE:XRX) underwrote FedScoop's 2014 Digital Government Study. FedScoop is a government IT media company and is the government IT community’s platform for education and collaboration.

The survey of more than 230 government and industry IT decision makers found that while 94 percent of all respondents agree that creating a digital government is beneficial, 75 percent of those surveyed say they lack the proper resources to enable a successful strategy.

“Because there is an executive mandate in place, organizations feel empowered to make the changes outlined in their digital strategy. However, some organizations are unsure how to get there,” said Goldy Kamali, founder and CEO of FedScoop.

Obstacles to a Digital Government

Both industry and government are feeling the fiscal pressure with 60 percent of respondents citing IT budgets as the biggest obstacle to their organization’s digital strategy.

Training also appears to be a factor. Thirty-three percent of respondents say they haven’t participated in a digital government discussion, training or creation of new mobile technologies.

Another challenge facing government professionals and the digital government initiative includes communication. Sixty percent of government respondents say the digital government strategy isn’t defined and communicated in a way employees can easily adopt.

The Best Methods to a Digital Government

Security is top of mind for federal respondents who rated “security and privacy” as the best way to a digital government. However, a “shared platform” approach trailed closely, which suggests government respondents are aware of the balance between streamlining information delivery without compromising security.

“The presidential memorandum is a solid roadmap for agencies to follow as they move toward a modern government, but tapping into technologies and best practices that already are accepted and trusted in the commercial sector can accelerate progress,” said Mike Bowers, group president, Xerox Federal Services. “Collaboration between public and private companies can go a long way towards achieving digital objectives.”

Xerox Federal Solutions helps more than 25 federal agencies meet their business process and information technology needs through their document management, customer servicing, transaction processing and data analytics solutions.

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