The internet has had an enormous impact on how government is conducted over the last 20 years. Despite the internet becoming more and more essential to peoples’ lives many government agencies still struggle with the decision to put some of their services online.
According to Pew Research 90% of Americans use the internet with many accessing the internet solely on their smartphones. The near ubiquitous nature of the internet makes it easier than ever to reach people. Being able to connect is important for many aspects of society including government.
Why is it so important for government to embrace the internet and mobile technology?
Accessible To All
You no longer have to be someone with means to access the internet. The internet is widely accessible to all people which makes it a great place for government services. This helps those who are busy working 3 jobs, can’t travel to the Town Hall because of a disability or simply cannot remember to make the trip to pay a license or permit fee. Making general government services available online gives more of the public an opportunity to participate without the restraint of travel and opening hours.
Faster To Work With
Working with and searching through paper records can be extremely inefficient. Embracing online services also means embracing digital record keeping since residents data will need someplace to go after they submit it. This means of record keeping is much faster and easier to work with freeing up time for tasks that require a more human touch.
Save & Make Money
Paper is expensive. By putting some of your services online you can eliminate the need for paper in those areas, saving money every year. Not only will you save money but also paper waste which will cut down on garbage and recycling transportation. Additionally the increased accessibility of online services makes it more likely that residents will pay bills and fees in full and on-time because they can do so at their convenience.
Boost Public Opinion
Residents think more highly of their local government when they see them embracing new technology and making life easier for them. In a survey of Massachusetts pet owners GoPetie 65% of residents said that they feel better about where they live when they see their city or town embracing online services. If residents feel like you are truly working for them they view local government in a much more favorable light.