public sector digital investment

Public Sector digital investment is more important now than ever

When it comes to getting more from your technology, cost savings are only half the story. Contrary to widely accepted doctrine, preparing – and overpreparing – for a crisis might actually be the most efficient thing you can do. 

This is by no means the first crisis the public sector has faced — and it won’t be the last. But how do you make the next one less of a threat to the services you provide? 

The Public Sector Challenge 

Why now is any different to before? The impact of this crisis has shown everyone the value of being prepared. 

Meaning the public sector is having to adapt — and quick. 

The world's labor force “staying at home” has exposed serious flaws in the public sector’s remote working capabilities and continuity plans. Turns out, many workers still lack the software and systems they need to do their jobs. And although services will continue once this is over, most will probably never go “back to normal.” 

Succeeding in the new normal will mean harnessing the benefits of continuity planning, remote working, and having: 

  • the right plans  
  • the right tools 
  • the right people 

for the job. The key is knowing what these are and how they can help your services through any kind of challenge. 

Missing The Shift Toward Remote Work 

Before now, homeworking wasn't always the norm in the public sector, despite many services not being people facing. 

For those services unprepared for remote working, this crisis hit hardest. But why were they not ready for remote working? 

What they’d failed to notice was the value technology offered their services and people. Freeing them to work anywhere, anytime, and improving the resilience of services. All working to reduce disruption or interruption of services. 

Implementing During (And After) A Crisis 

Remote workers need so much more than a computer, an internet connection, and a video-conferencing app to keep services running.  

Like your services, any digital solution needs to be: 

  • Scalable – to prevent disruption or interruption 
     
  • highly efficient – to make smooth running practical and resilient 

Research shows that remote working technology can save organizations $2,000 on rent per person each year. These savings alone could more than make up the cost of implementing (and even maintaining) your ERP.  

For the public sector, ERP systems work well because they let your people and managers get things done. You can continue to carry out day-to-day tasks, enable natural interactions through digital assistants, and access all the information you need from one centralized system. Letting you adapt to change with easily reconfigurable tools, automated back-office tasks, and optimized decision-making.  

You can also: 

  • Automate your day-to-day - Automate tasks for almost every aspect of the public sector, including project management, financial management, procurement management, HR, payroll, and field services. 

  • Work anywhere - Cloud infrastructures let you work anywhere, reduce your IT burden, increase your scalability, and deliver 360 visibility. 

  • Reduce costs - Reduce leakage of hours, automate billing, and provide better visibility

  • Make smarter decisions - Thanks to better insights that ensure services are never impacted. 

  • Work faster - Automations let you process more tasks and provide more services to more people who need them. 

  • See the real challenges - A single source of truth means you can identify problems before they happen, standardize workflows, and make long-term cost savings. 

  • Be more flexible - Using one system to manage all aspects of your services lets you flex and push them as needed during any challenge. 

Invest in your future 

ERP implementation isn’t a short-term stopgap, but a long-term investment that delivers cost savings in the months and years to come.  

"We've proven many types of work can be done remotely, why go back?" said tech columnist Jason Aten, writing for Inc magazine. "Working remotely just works. It is, in many cases, better for both the employees and the company. It allows people the freedom to choose the type of schedule and work environment that helps them thrive."  

Even so, you might still be reluctant about such a large digital investment, and for good reason. If ERP is a long-term solution too, you need to choose the right ERP system based on your budget, circumstances, and people.  

For those working in the public sector, a people-first ERP is the smart choice. This will personalize experiences, provide industry-specific capabilities, and custom automation services for remote workers. With a people-focused ERP, your people can define challenges, assess risks and issues, and make quicker, smarter decisions that help you grow.  

Final Word 

No one’s ever ‘ready’ for a crisis, but at least with the right plan and tools, you can still deliver vital services to those that need them.  

And although making a large digital investment might not seem like the most important thing right now, having a scalable, reliable, people-first ERP system for at-home workers probably does. And the best thing is that this solution isn't just a short-term crisis filler but a long-term answer to disruption, spiraling costs, internal inefficiencies and uncontrolled workloads. 

Going forward, more people in the public sector will work from home, but they’ll need the right digital technologies to do it. This means a human-focused ERP that automates and saves your costs for years to come. 

 

See how Unit4’s ERP is helping the public sector rethink what it’s capable of...

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