What we achieved

  • Scalable supports unplanned traffic increases of over 3000%

  • Streamlined citizen journeys for 12M citizens to get key services

  • Empowered agencies to develop 5 apps in less than 1 year

To who

Overview

  • Part 1

    Challenge

    To make it even easier for 12 million citizens to access public services — especially in times of crisis — and for companies to do business with government agencies and departments, this State Government Organization knew it had to overhaul and enhance its digital channels in a modern, mobile, and secure way.

  • Part 2

    Solution

    Using a stack of HCL solutions, the state created a State Government Digital Experience (SGDX) — creating better user experiences for the state's own workforce as well as citizens and businesses.

  • Part 3

    Results

    The state is now able to bring together content in a centralized way, where pertinent information can be delivered across different agency websites and tailored to each user’s mission rather than by department.

The Challenge

Goal for Easy Access to Services

Whether it’s helping a citizen get assistance with their health insurance or showing a company where to bid for a government contract, this State Government Organization aims to make every interaction as straightforward as possible. To offer a higher level of self-service, the organization is pulling together its varied and disparate systems and building a central online portal with HCL Digital Experience and consumer-focused applications built on the Volt MX platform.

To make it even easier for citizens to access public services — especially important in times of crisis — and for companies to do business with government agencies and departments, the State Government Organization knew it had to overhaul and enhance its digital channels. By utilizing Volt MX, they were able to take an enormous amount of data that was needed to keep secure, accurate, and available to its citizens in a new, modern, and mobile way. Taking an outdated, largely paper-driven operation, they developed mobile apps that allowed citizens to access services at their fingertips no matter where they were and what kind of device they were using.

Using a stack of HCL solutions, they created a State Government Digital Experience (SGDX) -- creating better user experiences for the state's own workforce, as well as citizens and businesses. The objectives of SGDX are to:

  • Provide a Scalable platform, proven to support over a 3000% increase in site traffic
  • Streamline citizen journeys and enable faster access to crucial information and public services
  • Empower agencies to publish real-time updates, boosting transparency and effectiveness

The Solution

Targeting Transformation

Every year, online services and app usage becomes more tightly woven into daily life. As consumers and businesses alike increasingly choose digital channels to communicate, collaborate, and purchase, the pressure is on for government organizations like this State Government Organization to meet growing demand for online services.

The State Government learned that citizens have higher expectations of digital services from governments than they do from retailers. Despite this, public-sector IT departments are typically less prepared to deliver online services than their counterparts in the business world.

Like many US state governments, the organization enables citizens to access critical public services online and at their fingertips through apps on their devices. In the past, each state agency department was responsible for delivering its own digital services. However, citizens often need to access services that span multiple departments to accomplish their goals. As a result, citizens had to register multiple user accounts, which added friction to their journeys. For example, unemployed constituents would need to register in four separate sites to access support with healthcare, food, childcare, and employment.

To solve the challenge, the State Government organization decided to create a central identity and access management platform and deliver single-sign-on (SSO) capabilities. Building on the foundation of a robust SSO platform, the organization aimed to create a portal that empowered citizens and businesses to access all the services they needed through a single user account.

They also knew that it’s in the public’s interest to make every interaction with the government as easy as possible. For citizens, digital self-service does more than save people the inconvenience of driving to an office and waiting in line. It also improves operational cost-efficiency, which helps deliver greater value for the taxpayer dollar. Similarly, making it straightforward for companies to access critical State services and information means they could attract more businesses to the state and strengthen employment across the state. They collaborated with HCL to help make the transformation a reality. With this team effort and experience in adapting technologies and solutions to meet an organization’s needs, the team brought a unique blend of technology, design, and strategy expertise to successfully drive this project, where strengthening the relationships between the government agencies and citizens was key.

Building a New Digital Experience
To achieve its goals, the State Government Organization, created a statewide employee portal, myState and a new multidisciplinary, citizen-facing portal called State.gov based on the State Government Digital Experience (SGDX) with SSO capabilities. At the same time, the State deployed its identity management platform to all 88 counties and every local government entity in the state.

With more than 100 different entities providing services across the state, the SGDX team was keen to encourage government programs, agencies and departments to embrace the new portal. To reduce internal barriers to adoption, the state built a set of accelerators on the HCL Digital Experience platform.

The Lead Architect for the State Government Organization at the time, says “The State Government wanted to keep the technical work required to migrate a legacy intranet site to their platform to a minimum,” and adds “By creating portal templates on top of their technical tools, they can now offer an integrated package of technology and change-management solutions that reduces the time spent on technical work to as little as three percent of the total migration project. The results have been extremely positive. They recently onboarded one of the state’s largest agencies to the MyState platform in under two months — and most of that work was knowledge-transfer around data governance and ownership.”

By experiencing the speed with which the platform was deployed and the associated time and cost savings, combined with word-of-mouth endorsement, it was an easy progression for state entities to adopt and move to the SGDX. The State Government is now achieving its goal of driving internal engagement.

The Lead Architect adds: “At the start of their deployment, they decided they didn’t want to mandate their users to move to SGDX, which wasn’t the norm for projects of this scale. They were confident that inspiring people to come to us because they’d heard about the benefits of our platform would be a more powerful way to drive adoption than mandating everyone to use the portal from day one — and their approach is paying off. Even before the team finished testing, departments were lining up to get on the SGDX platform.”

From concept to completion, a small development team was able to utilize the HCL Volt MX platform to develop, test, and deploy five robust apps for ease of consumer use in less than a year. The platform, hosted on the AWS Cloud, offers flexibility with a single code base that could deliver apps for any operating system and any device. HCL Volt MX has a rich set of features including a component library of reusable and customizable “parts”, that aid in the fast creation of apps. It has a greater value per dollar compared to other low-code solutions in the market. These apps run on iOS and Android mobile devices and have been used every day since then.

The apps provide crucial services accessible by citizens anytime, anywhere such as:

  • A court-hearing portal that gives citizens the opportunity to ask the state for a hearing if their benefits were wrongly denied or terminated.
  • A child-support app that allows secure access to parents’ information, including support orders, making/receiving payments, and payment history.
  • A labor-market app that aggregates historical labor market statistics related to labor force numbers, payroll jobs, unemployment rates, and provides users the ability to download the raw data into easy-to-use reports.
  • A rapid-response app that helps the organization quickly identify, train and deploy qualified workers who have been recently furloughed so that they can be placed into new jobs and get back on their feet.
  • A SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) related app that allows citizens to access information regarding food stamps, local farmers’ market locations, and important nutrition information.

The successful creation and execution of these apps has encouraged the organization to expand their app development to other services that will benefit the state’s many citizens.

Using SGDX avoids costly infrastructure investments, and their accelerators eliminate the need for months of technical work. As a result, they have already achieved cost avoidance of over $18 million — enabling them to enhance their digital services while delivering value to the taxpayer.

—An observation from a representative of the State Government

The Results

Mobile Apps Broaden the Range of Services for Citizens

By offering its internal stakeholders the tools they need to rapidly onboard SGDX, the SGDX team is now delivering seamless digital services to citizens and businesses across the state. And in addition to this foundational environment based on DX they have also successfully been able to deliver five Volt MX mobile apps to their citizens that broaden the range of critical family services they can offer.

With current global pandemic conditions in effect, this State Government team has been analyzing the type and volume of incoming requests to their SGDX site instances so that they can adjust services as needed and be as responsive as possible to the needs of their citizens. As part of their analysis the team has seen the incoming rate of business-critical request traffic increase from 200k per hour, in the pre-pandemic period, to 6 million requests per hour, which is a 3000% increase — without any interruption. This demonstrates the remarkable power of HCL Digital Experience’s ability to scale, its reliability, as well as its ability to provide the operations team with the information they need to best serve the state.

“Whether an entity wants to replace their legacy intranet or build one from scratch, they now have everything they need to move quickly,” continues the Lead Architect “Using SGDX avoids costly infrastructure investments, and their accelerators eliminate the need for months of technical work. As a result, they have already achieved cost avoidance of over $18 million — enabling them to enhance their digital services while delivering value to the taxpayer.”

As more agencies move to SGDX, the team is hearing success stories from across the organization. The Department of Agriculture was one of the first entities to move to SGDX. In the past, the Department of Agriculture relied heavily on its IT team to make updates to its public-facing website, which made it extremely difficult to respond in a timely manner to incidents affecting the public. Before the Department of Agriculture began using ODX, most content updates required a subject-matter expert to raise a ticket with the IT department. Since deploying HCL Digital Experience, no one in the department has needed to raise a single support ticket for website updates. The Department of Agriculture has empowered its communications team to take full ownership of content. In fact, during the last State Fair, members of the Department were publishing updates to the website from their mobiles in real time — faster than members of the Associated Press at the same event!

By enhancing its approach to content management with the HCL solution, one division of the Department of Agriculture has reported an 80% reduction in calls for help finding content on its site. Similarly, by using HCL Digital Experience to deliver self-service capabilities, the Department of Health has cut helpdesk calls for issues such as password resets by 40% — predicted to deliver an annual cost-saving of US$75,000. This success is an example of how other divisions are creating self-service opportunities and gaining operational cost-efficiencies along the way.

With a digital experience powered by HCL, this State Government is well placed to realize the goals of its transformation. The Volt MX platform provided the ease of creating five publicly utilized applications by the Department of Jobs & Families. Two of the most critical apps being the Rapid Response app and an app where the state can share information about various food programs. The Rapid Response app helps the state redeploy and train workforce who have recently been let go. The food program app allows the state to share information about their SNAP program, easily accessible information regarding food stamps, locations of Farmers Markets and other critical material on nutrition.

Because the state is now able to bring together content in a centralized way where pertinent information can be delivered across different agency websites and tailored to each user’s mission rather than by department, it is now easier than ever to connect people with the information they need — helping to meet high expectations for digital services.

The Lead Architect concludes: “As more government programs, agencies and departments embrace the SGDX program, this State Government is seeing that it is easier than ever for people across the state to access the services they need — and they look forward to continuing their collaboration with HCL."

About the company

Headquartered in the US Midwest, this State Government Organization is responsible for providing public services including education, health, and transportation to its citizens.

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