NC IT Roadmap - Digital Transformation

NC IT Roadmap: Digital Transformation

all digital themes connected

"Digital services are a great way for our state to connect within agencies and with our customers."

- J. Eric Boyette, Secretary of NCDIT and State CIO

Digital technologies have profoundly impacted how people around the world conduct their day-to-day lives, engage with businesses and institutions, interact with each other, and get their work done.  

North Carolina is no exception, and our residents expect great digital experiences when engaging with state government. They want a 21st Century government that delivers services with the same level of sophistication, ease-of-use, and simplicity as the private sector. North Carolinians want digital by default.  

We understand that the state must be able to deliver services, resources, and information anytime, anywhere, and on any platform or device. Digital transformation not only benefits our residents, but also enables government to be more nimble, efficient, and cut costs.  

We believe that a successful digital strategy must extend beyond IT and include people, process, technology, and culture change with strong collaboration with partners in state government agencies and General Assembly, the private sector, universities, researchers, citizens and more.  

Digital Governance

Digital Government Committee: As a key part of the state’s digital strategy, the Digital Government Committee, was chartered in January 2019 with a vision to enable the state to deliver citizen-focused government services, resources, and information and will do so in a manner that is transparent, open, responsive, and accessible.  

By leveraging the perspectives of a cross-agency team including local government expertise the Committee will add value by illuminating citizen-focused opportunities, explore key partnerships, share research, and advocate for best practices in the areas of government culture, processes, and technologies.  

The Digital Committee serves as an advisory body to state government leadership, advocating for citizen-focused best practices for service delivery, and eliminating barriers. 

Culture and People 

When you think about digital services, you think about collaboration. 
- J. Eric Boyette, Secretary of NCDIT and State CIO

We collaborate across many disciplines within agencies across state goverment. Ultimately, people are at the heart of our strategy. We aim to empower staff to grow, learn, collaborate, and contribute to and participate in our digital journey.  

We Are NC Gov: conference auditorium with peopleWe Are NC Gov is a semi-annual digital transformation summit that connects state government employees across units and professional roles resulting in important insights, learning opportunities, and cross-organizational projects. We Are NC Gov events attract approximately one hundred of the state's digital communicators, web designers, agency leaders and marketing specialists from dozens of state agencies and commissions. The events and include keynote speakers and breakout sessions, focusing on topics such as citizen-centric service delivery, digital marketing, and user experience best practices. 

Citizen-Centric Processes: By putting citizen needs first, we are changing and re-thinking existing processes, procedures, policies and more. This includes embracing agile methodologies, user experience (UX) practices, both product and project management, DevOps concepts, and user-centered design. For example, this might mean asking the question before launching a new service or product: 

“Are we solving a problem the citizens have? Are we designing the service based on their needs?” 

DIT Digital Solutions and other sections have incorporated several UX and user-centered practices and principles into its development process, including: 

  • User surveys 
  • Stakeholder interviews 
  • Persona workshops 
  • User top tasks workshops 
  • Information architecture/card sorting 
  • Analytics evaluations 

We have found that investing time in these practices helps reduce number of application and software errors, focus content and information on key user needs, and create a more friction-less experience for end users.   

As we're implementing and maintaining solutions, we need to better understand the user journey and factor end-user goals and needs into the solution implementation and maintenance process. User experience (UX) practices are an increasingly important component of our long-term application development and solution delivery strategy. 

 

Digital Government Initiatives 

NC.Gov: NC.Gov has traditionally been considered the front-door to state government and a web portal linking to many different agency websites and digital resources. As we continue to embrace citizen-first practices, ease-of-use, and friction-less government the website will become even more oriented around the needs of end-users and shift away from mirroring an organization chart.   

As new communication channels emerge, such as voice driven devices, the content delivered on NC.gov will be structured to be more adaptable and flexible. The site is on track to exceed one million pageviews a month sometime this year, far exceeding the traffic of most North Carolina government websites. There was a 20% increase year-over year in pageviews (January 2018 compared to January 2019). Our analytics data provides clear visibility into keyword searches (i.e. DMV, "start a business", "find a job") which enables us to prioritize and optimize content to meet top content needs of citizens. 

Web and Digital Platform - Digital Commons 2.0: In 2014, the Digital Commons initiative was conceived to create a more consistent, intuitive state government web experience. A centralized, modern web platform, running on open source and cloud-based technologies, was established to run most agency websites, the state portal, microsites, and more.  

By 2019, over 50 mobile-optimized websites are running on the platform. As a result, state government agencies are able to deliver services, resources, and information to key audiences in a more streamlined, consistent manner. The Digital Commons initiative program has embraced a collaborative approach and encourages the leveraging of analytics, user survey research, and related user-centered approaches to meet end-user needs.  

But digital transformation is not just about websites. New communication channels have emerged such as smart speakers and watches. In the years ahead, citizens will undoubtedly seek government resources and information on a wide range of devices, systems, gadgets, and more. The Digital Commons 2.0 platform will transition to the latest version of the Drupal solution to meet existing and forthcoming content needs.  

A true digital platform, it will leverage many APIs and REST-first native web services, to interoperate with other key government applications and play an important role in a secure, simplified, digital ecosystem. The Digital Commons platform will continue to be hosted in a FedRAMP-compliant Amazon Web Services environment. 

Digital Wallet: We are working to establish a digital wallet for the state that will digitally deliver a simplified, on-the-go experience for a wide variety of services. MyNCDMV is a key part of our vision for a modern, secure Digital Wallet to store services and information. The Digital Wallet will simplify and unify the delivery of key government services, such as license and permitting transactions. 

New and Emerging Communication Channels 

We aim to deliver state information and resources in our citizens' preferred environment any time, anywhere, any device. New initiatives, such as a chatbot pilot for the NC.Gov state portal will deliver state government resources in a conversational interface, leveraging Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing to meet citizen needs faster. New platforms and technologies are an important part of an “omni-channel” approach as we seek to interact with our citizens and customers in their preferred environment and communication platform.