Two sweeping, structural trends are transforming the nature of the U.S. workplace, and government agencies – from national to local – are not immune.
One trend is demographic: the millennial generation will soon dominate the U.S. workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the United States workforce. By 2025, they will make up 75 percent.
The other trend is technological: mobile devices and applications are fast becoming the default mode by which workers (who of course are also consumers) expect to be able to perform any task. According to IDC, by 2020, 72 percent of the total U.S. workforce will be mobile.
It’s not hard to see how the convergence of these trends will affect government agencies. They will have to meet the demand of constituents (individuals, businesses and other organizations) that information in the hands of government be made accessible and usable, anytime and anywhere. Meanwhile, the younger generation of government employees will insist on new ways – mobile ways – of creating, applying and sharing information in their work.
This might seem a daunting challenge, given that government agencies have historically been slow to respond to generational shifts – including the transition from paper-based processes to automated ones. But ignoring the sea change toward mobile access and execution of document-based work processes is not an option.
New tools to support the new norms
What should a forward-thinking government agency be doing? First, recognize and embrace the change in how government work processes will be performed. And then, arm agency employees with the mobile devices, apps and services that are essential to support the new “work norms.”
A new Nuance white paper, “Securing, Automating, and Mobilizing Government Workflows,” discusses how extending document-based workflows to the mobile environment can benefit both constituents and mobile government workers. Examples include:
- Using mobile devices (such as tablets, smartphones and laptops) to remotely capture data or information provided by a constituent
- Leveraging voice recognition to enter spoken information into a mobile electronic form
- Incorporating paper documents into a workflow with a smartphone’s or tablet’s camera (instead of a scanner)
- Freeing workers to leave the office and go to the constituent, in order to provide more personalized and efficient service
Productivity applications that are optimized for mobile use, such as Nuance’s NSi Mobile, provide other important capabilities as well, including secure uploading of files or data to business applications, remote completion of business forms and secure on-demand printing to local office printers.
Mobile solutions for work are what the rising millennial workforce expects, so they have a useful role to play in helping government agencies attract, retain, and motivate their employees. But mobilizing document-based workflows is also necessary in order to achieve other agency goals, such as improving the level of service to constituents, and demonstrating effectiveness and efficiency to those who oversee and fund them. However you look at it, “going mobile” is part of the road ahead.