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How state and local governments can adopt new technology to improve licensing and permitting processes
Open for business? State governments are under increased pressure to increase efficiency, drive revenue, and satisfy citizens. To attract businesses that will add economic value, technological advancements are key. Discover how to leverage digital technology to make doing business easier. A competitive advantage awaits.
Digital advancements drive revenue in the public sector
Many state governments today are facing a new economic reality. Squeezed by cutbacks in federal funding and years of reduced tax revenues on the one hand, and faced with growing demands from businesses and citizens alike on the other, they are looking for new sources of income and ways to deliver their many services more efficiently.
It’s a tall order. States are competing aggressively to attract businesses that will invest in their communities and offer jobs to their citizens. But it is not enough for states to put up a sign saying they are “open for business.” Investment dollars are limited and winning them depends on having an environment where it is also “easy to do business.” Fortunately, there is much that states can do to make doing business with them easier, and those who get there first will be at a competitive advantage.
One of the leading ways to capture efficiencies and meet the needs of businesses is by embracing digital services; and one of the biggest payoffs comes when states automate their licensing procedures, including inspections, code enforcement, application processing, and approvals. Moving licensing and permitting to a digital platform also improves data collection and enables state agencies to forecast revenue more accurately.
Recent developments in digital technology, including cloud services, mobile interfaces, and data analytics, make the move to digital government more achievable than ever before.
Digital technology addresses rising pressure in three areas
For state agencies, access to budget dollars is increasingly tied to economic value creation. For agencies that manage licenses and permits, that translates into using technology to simplify and streamline processes. Digital modernization supports states economic development objectives by reducing transaction costs, but it also can directly increase revenues.
When securing licenses and permits is a frictionless, painless process, businesses are far more likely to comply with regulations and pay their fees on time. Agencies also have the opportunity to increase revenue streams through non-traditional avenues such as the selling of advertising and transaction fees.
Sustainable efficiency gains
Regulatory agencies have started to look for efficiency gains in their licensing and enforcement programs. Most of these agencies (big and small) have not made much progress on the path to modernization. They are saddled with disparate applications, siloed information, and unwieldy processes. Yet the government relies on them to bring in revenue and enforce compliance.
Streamlining these processes is virtually impossible without a digital transformation strategy. Modernization can help agencies achieve wholesale and sustainable change by paring down business processes into a set of core functions, then using technology to automate them as much as possible.
Rising service expectations
Today’s state governments must contend with a savvier and more technologically demanding customer. Millennials are aggressively pushing both businesses and government towards greater digitization. They’re demanding more convenience coupled with better, faster services. But the demand for digital connectedness transcends all generations and expectations are rising across the board.
Providing better services is not only good for businesses, the agencies could potentially benefit as well by automating manual processes and pushing data entry efforts to the licensee.