Blog / Efficient Business Processes Through Digital Transformation – Steering Your Drive Toward Smart City
It is no secret that municipalities are seldom on the leading edge of technology advancements, and for very good reasons. New tech often involves systems that are not mature or thoroughly tested.
However, citizens want stability and predictability when it comes to clearing snow and keeping the traffic lights working, not to mention guarding private information that is often stored about them.
But since March 2020, we have all been living in a different world, and like it or not, many municipalities were forced into new and uncharted tech territory, as the pandemic took hold. The most obvious manifestation was sending staff members home with laptops and assorted equipment, so they could continue working while municipal offices remained closed. It also spawned video meetings with various departments and conference calls involving public participation with elected officials and management.
Many tech departments and IT providers cobbled together ad-hoc systems to get users functioning. Most often, there was little regard for systems planning, sustainability, or Cyber Security.
Let’s try to put this into context. What really happened was that many municipalities took the first practical steps towards Digital Transformation; albeit they skipped over the important work of analysis planning, risk assessment, and budgeting.
Digital Transformation is a popular buzz-phrase that deserves a succinct definition:
Modernizing your business model, services & corporate culture, by integrating digital technologies and tools in an ongoing process.
I’m a firm believer that disruption brings opportunity, and COVID-19 is a prime disruptor. The challenge is to capitalize on recent gains made towards Digital Transformation, by backtracking to some key steps missed in the initial deployment. You may have new technology and capabilities; perhaps a few new processes too, but you don’t know why or how they impact Business Operations and Efficiency.
Surprisingly, the first step is to take technology out of the equation and focus on Business Processes. Step-by-step, how does information flow within a department and from one department to another?
For example, a streetlamp is out on the corner of 45th Avenue and Main Street. Who reported it and how? How did Public Works receive the report and dispatch a crew to repair it? How was the new lamp accounted for in inventory? How was the repair verified as complete? How was the repair allocated to a cost centre? How was the new lamp ordered for inventory? How did the repair compare against the PW budget? I think you get the idea.
By having a deep understanding of your business processes, you can identify gaps that technology can bridge, redundant steps it can eliminate or efficiency improvements it can facilitate. Digital Transformation can prepare you for the next disruption to your services and reduce the pain of a future emergency deployment of technology.
But the real payoff is that by embracing Digital Transformation now, you can be well positioned for future Smart City initiatives. Autonomous snow clearing and park maintenance systems, traffic lights that adjust for dynamically changing traffic patterns, and streetlamps that automatically turn off when no traffic is present – are just a few simple examples.
TRINUS has developed a video series that will help you on your road to Digital Transformation. By investing less than 5 minutes each, you can watch all 8 episodes and educate yourself on this topic. Please visit our website by clicking on the Digital Transformation link below, to catch up with this series and start your own journey.
Here’s a short animated feature showing how critical it is to be current in your drive towards Digital Transformation. Press Play & enjoy!
Director of Account Management and Marketing