How Governments Can Leverage Low-Code Development

Low-code development is one burgeoning approach when it comes to encouraging citizen engagement. Here’s what government players should know.

Forced innovation — where circumstances require sudden and sweeping changes — happens in many industries, but rarely in government services.

Workers in the public sector are dedicated to the citizens they serve. Regardless, sparking widespread change can be difficult due to a variety of factors, including limited budgets and a lack of solutions specific to that public sector. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and demand for digital services spiked, government offices at all levels were forced to try and innovate just like everyone else. This demand for government modernization won’t end when everyone is vaccinated: Survey results show that 67% of respondents want the government to provide more digital services, and the majority would prefer to access them through one portal.

Digital transformation in government has been long overdue — and now, it’s nonnegotiable. Offices and agencies that struggle in this digital era will also find it difficult to serve the public effectively. Fortunately, agile low-code development can help any government function upgrade as quickly as the present moment requires.

What Is Low-Code Development?

Instead of asking developers to write code to build a piece of software, low-code development uses a graphical interface to configure features and functions. This simplified form of development makes it much easier to quickly create solutions.

In the context of government, low-code development can help create the digital products and experiences the public expects, when the public expects them. And governments can do so with their current staff, as it takes minimal coding expertise to utilize low-code tools. Low code breaks down data silos, allows for easy agency inter- and intraoperability, empowers quick and robust scalability, creates digital transparency, and simplifies IT management. Not to mention, low-code platforms and development have a much lower long-term cost of ownership, allowing governments to do more with the resources they have.

This approach to software development can help any organization accelerate digital transformation. It’s definitely an asset, and this is especially true at government agencies that need to make progress with finite resources.

This begs an obvious question: If low-code development can help government agencies digitize services quickly, easily, and affordably, why isn’t everyone using it? Some agencies simply aren’t aware this option exists. There are also agencies that see potential in low-code development but don’t have the resources to move forward — whether that’s regarding staff, budget, or institutional willingness.

Given citizens’ desire for governments to innovate in a post-pandemic world, the status quo is no longer acceptable. In the new context, low-code development looks like the best possible option to facilitate this transformation.

Low-Code Development in Action

Anyone can see the benefits of low-code development thanks to government use cases that currently exist.

Chicago’s Bureau of Information Technology, for instance, juggles multiple technologies across more than 30 city departments. Coordinating across these departments requires technology solutions that can scale and be efficient. One example of this is the city’s outreach and engagement platform, which was constructed on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This platform helps to support everyday city operations when it’s business as usual, but the platform only proved more valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic, when streamlined communications were imperative.

Hand-coding just a few of the service portals in-house would have taken months to complete. Alternately, hiring a consulting company to build custom platforms would cost millions of dollars. Low-code development offered the perfect balance between affordability and accessibility, making it possible for Chicago to accomplish its objectives — on a short schedule and a tight budget — without needing to drastically expand its technical expertise.

Given what low-code development can do, future legislation or agency policy might require it for a tech initiative to receive funding. But even when it’s not required, it can help government entities of all sizes with improving customer service in government and increasing citizen engagement as a result.

It’s never been easier or more important to deliver the government services the public expects. Kyra Solutions operates as an extension of public service where government and digital transformation meet. We’ve seen the potential of low-code development. We’ve seen what it takes to capitalize on that potential while avoiding pitfalls. We know that choosing the right IT provider to address the government’s specific needs is the most critical choice for digital transformation. The digital foundation that provider uses comes in at a close second.

With the help of tools like Salesforce’s low-code, government digital transformation goals are more attainable than you might expect. Contact the team at Kyra Solutions for a demo, and we’ll show you how.

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