Who doesn’t want a leaner, more responsive, digital government? If this report from Global News is any indication, Canadian citizens sure do. You wouldn’t have the water cooler stories about long wait times at the passport office if they didn’t. This is why technology should be public service organizations’ best friend. The people who work in public service are there because they’re passionate about making a difference. Investing in technology can better empower your public service agency to make a difference by enabling your people to deliver the kind of quality, accessible services citizens expect. . Investing in technology can better empower your public service agency to make a difference. Think about all the things Canada’s public service agencies have to deal with on a daily basis: 311 citizen service Grant management Case management field inspections Permitting Licensing Online transactions Registrations That’s a ton of information and it’s just the tip of the data iceberg. Now imagine it all being scattered across disparate systems. It would make any public servant desperate for a magical solution that provides a consistent view of data that can be accessed no matter where it’s stored, so it can be easily deployed. Well, you’re in luck. Enter cloud-powered Customer Engagement Solutions. The cloud can house incredible amounts of data while making it readily available across entire public agencies, entire governments even. And with the right Customer Engagement Solution to manage it all, those services and many others, can be deployed quickly, easily, effectively and with great efficiency. Having those capabilities are critically important in helping public service in Canada address the challenges it currently faces, like accurately reflecting the need to be nimble when adapting the breakneck pace of changes occurring across our country. The cloud can house incredible amounts of data while making it readily available. The private sector is always beefing up its online offerings, increasingly moving towards fully digital experiences, and that’s only making Canadian’s expectations regarding the speed and ease of obtaining public services skyrocket. And, as demonstrated by a 2015 study on the Canadian Mobile landscape by Catalyst and GroupM Next, Canada as a society is increasingly going mobile, meaning Canadians expect interactions, including those with the public services, to be easy, seamless, and readily accessible. Here are some highlights from the study: With 68% smartphone penetration in 2015 (up from 55% in 2014) mobile is no longer an option, but a necessity Mobile web usage is trending up Mobile consumers are active at home as much as (or more than) they are on the go That means public services need to be able to move the right resources to the right place, or the right device, at the right time, while being cost-effective — government money isn’t growing on trees these days. By eliminating time consuming and costly infrastructural concerns, as well as facilitating nimble omni-channel solutions, the right technology investments can help government agencies swiftly respond, to citizens when, where and how they expect them to. And there’s never been a better time for them to invest in tech. The CBC reported that, with its recently revealed 2016 budget, the federal government is dedicated to making Canada’s public service both “innovative and agile.” And with “an obligation to find efficiencies,” government investment in technology should be a no-brainer, particularly with $383.8 million being dedicated over the next two years to "support the transformation of government IT systems, data centres and telecommunications networks.” Of course, as iPolitics pointed out in a recent article, security in the digital age is always a major concern for the government, as is data sovereignty in Canada. According to IT World Canada, keeping data safe within Canada’s borders is an important part of the federal government’s cloud computing strategy. The good news for Canadian government is, as reported in the Globe and Mail, Microsoft recently launched two new Canadian data centres in Toronto and Quebec City. They offer security, privacy, control, compliance, and transparency. The power of locally-stored, secure and cost-saving cloud data has never been more readily available to Canada’s public services. The time is right. The technology and funds are there. Make government leaner so those wait times at the passport office will be, too. Go to this page to find out more about the two new data centres in Toronto and Quebec City, and how they will help to deliver cloud services locally to public services in Canada. Got questions? Chat with one of our representatives today, or learn more about our Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning products here.