The American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other federal funding initiatives have paved the way for agencies to use funds to support digitization efforts, invest in critical technology, and prioritize customer experience (CX). These funding opportunities are ways for government organizations to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. Corey Wagner, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Office of Mission Support, Environmental Protection Agency; Phoebe Nerdahl, Sr. Director, U.S. Public Sector, LaunchDarkly; and Eddie Doyle, Cyber Strategist, Check Point, met at this year’s Government Customer Experience & Engagement Summit to examine the impact of these federal funds have had on driving meaningful transformation for agencies. Wagner discussed the challenges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is having when it comes to obtaining funding since it is not classified as a high-impact service provider (HISP). “One way we made a good case for funding was to advance the overall agency program, particularly in the IT area,” Wagner commented. In this case study, the team “showed they’re reducing costs for IT and the other services that they’ve made available and saved the agency around $400,000 in help desk initiatives.” From there, the team was able to ask for funding to continue those types of efforts. By demonstrating the CX improvements and the positive impact on cost reduction, it allowed for funding to be allocated to drive transformative projects.
Nerdahl added that partnering with technology vendors can help to develop case studies that help agencies advocate for modernization initiatives and funding to support these activities. “The amount of data that’s out there for agencies to leverage can be used to talk about website metrics, build that case, and champion that alongside solid partners and solid vendors so that you’re not alone in that ask, and it will help get more eyes on the problem as a whole,” she said.
One of the biggest challenges for modernization is upgrading legacy systems. Wagner shared that the EPA adopts an agile methodology to transition incrementally rather than try to accomplish a complete overhaul. A gradual transformation ensures a smoother modernization journey without significant downtime or disruption. Nerdahl added that, with agile development, “projects are in more of an ongoing journey of continual modernization.”
Doyle explained that strengthening security measures goes hand in hand with improving CX. Technology partners can help agencies develop robust strategies to establish a secure, modernized infrastructure that enhances customer experiences and safeguards sensitive data. He shared that one way to strengthen cybersecurity is through self-remediation, which allows employees to rectify accidental data leaks before they escalate. Empowering employees to make secure decisions mitigates the escalation process and involving other teams. Organizations can create a seamless user experience that fosters cybersecurity awareness among employees by combining data leak prevention technology with self-remediation capabilities.
The funding opportunities presented by the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law offer agencies an unparalleled opportunity to drive digital transformation, invest in critical technology, and prioritize customer experience. By securing funding, leveraging agile methodologies, addressing legacy systems, and fostering a customer-centric culture, agencies can drive transformative change and ensure that all stakeholders receive the best possible services.
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