For government agencies striving to maintain services during the current COVID-19 Pandemic, telework is increasingly becoming the prevalent tactic for keeping staff proactive and productive—while simultaneously supporting the current needs for social distancing and self-isolation.
While the advantages of teleworking (otherwise known as telecommuting, working from home [WFH] or working remotely) are already well established, we are undoubtedly experiencing an unprecedented adoption of this practice across all industries as a result of the global response to COVID-19.
Fortunately, the infrastructure is sufficiently robust to support this rapid ramp-up in demand.
Advances in broadband penetration and mobile connectivity ensure that today’s workforces have never been more connected. In fact, across North America, the average home residence now enjoys highspeed bandwidth comparable to that available only to corporate clients as recently as a decade ago.
In addition to ubiquitous highspeed connectivity, the other factor contributing to the widespread viability of teleworking for state and local agencies is the widespread adoption of cloud-based software solutions across the government enterprise. Thanks to the forward-thinking implementation of workflow automation solutions like the POSSE Platform, government workers across North America can remotely access the critical business applications, data and reports required to effectively maintain daily operations—even when such infrastructure is highly specific to the unique requirements of their agency and resides well outside the boundaries of generic office productivity applications.
And the advantages of web accessibility are not restricted to internal staff alone.
Thanks to low code solutions like POSSE’s Staff UI (for internal intranets) and POSSE WebUI (for external citizen portals), government agencies embracing the utility of cloud-based software solutions are well equipped to maintain optimal citizen engagement via self-service web-based portals, when drastic circumstances such as the COVID-19 virus force the reduction or outright elimination of face-to-face service delivery channels.
To better understand how cloud-based government software solutions are fortifying the current and immediate reliance on broad scope telework while simultaneously maintaining critical infrastructure for citizen services such as permitting and inspections, let’s examine a few of the key attributes that are enabling data-driven automation to support the current global demand for accessible teleworking tools.
One of the core advantages of a dedicated cloud or hybrid hosting environment is the ability for this infrastructure to be managed remotely, leveraging automation capabilities to monitor, optimize and self-heal the system on an ‘as needed’ basis. In contrast with government agencies reliant on relatively small internal IT staffs to manage on-premises environments, global scale cloud environments are able to leverage the machine learning capabilities of such systems to facilitate proactive system management and optimization.
A core expectation for modern teleworkers is the ability to easily access in-office resources such as internal business applications, file shares, corporate email, private databases, and networks, via VPN and/or Remote Desktop services. For government agencies yet to migrate entirely to the public cloud, scaling up to facilitate this level of access across the entirety of the organization places a large burden on the organization to meet the burgeoning demands for network throughput, hardware capacity, and VPN user licenses. With a dedicated or even hybrid cloud solution however, all mission critical apps and information can be made available to all without increasing the strain on internal staff and systems. This is especially beneficial for high bandwidth services such as voice and video conferencing that are seeing usage spike as government staff increasingly self-isolate in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
While global cloud infrastructure is currently proving its abilities to auto-scale resources to meet a massive surge in user demand, an underreported story is the capabilities of such infrastructure to help monitor and maximize productivity for government staff working from home. Utilizing intelligent automation tools such as the POSSE Platform, in conjunction with cloud services, operational leaders are increasingly realizing the value of data-driven business processes that guide staff and citizens alike to achieve efficient error-free task completion of core operational process and service outcomes. In addition to keeping core systems fully operational during crisis situations, government agencies with the foresight to leverage intelligent automation to streamline operational workflows and facilitate self-service citizen services are now reaping the benefits of that investment, with internal systems scaling seamlessly to manage the quickly evolving changes in user access and usage.
Self-isolation has now become the tip of the spear in the battle against the COVID-19 virus, necessitating an unprecedented demand for teleworking capabilities. While this situation is creating obvious and understandable anxiety for many, it is reassuring to know that our essential government services have increasingly embraced the accessibility, utility and security of cloud-based software solutions guided by intelligent automation. Such innovation is now proving very prescient in hindsight, as core operational platforms such as the POSSE Platform continue to maintain key operational and civic services in the midst of a workforce rapidly migrating to a teleworking paradigm.
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