In the past, government entities typically provided their services in person, this approach, of course, required having physical offices, personnel and a list of other expenses that ate at their spending capacity toward serving their communities. With the introduction of the internet, there was a push towards modernization, triggering the age of e-government. This transformation allowed government to serve more people through their computer’s browsers, automating some manual processes and as a result, becoming more efficient and more accessible.
One of the reasons mobile technology prospered in the last decade, was because people became busier and the mobile phone provided an on the go solution to getting things done. The mobile device became such a personal device with direct access to its users. Despite many industries exploiting this innovation and new-found reach, governments in certain countries have been slow to transition to m-government (Mobile Government).
So in this article, let’s look at some of the benefits to municipal governments in adopting a mobile application and how our Info Grove platform could help them achieve this.
One of the biggest setbacks for municipalities is the lack of knowledge by the community of the new and available services and updates. A mobile app provides a direct channel to residents allowing for municipalities to communicate public works, news, events, road conditions, bylaws and any essential information that may be required by residents.
Through push notifications, RSS feeds, notification badges, calendars and so much more, a municipal app can bring that information directly to the resident’s fingertips. In addition, social media integration also allows municipalities to bring in those additional channels into the mobile app not only increasing information sharing but also enhancing communication.
Enhancing the Community
Feedback is always essential for improvement, and being able to collect observations from the community is another benefit of having a municipal app. Having the ability to send to your community surveys (read more about voting/survey module) about events, recent news or any other topics, would help provide municipal staff and council with real and relevant insight.
Moreover, creating in-app forms allowing your residents to report any problems, sign up for events, provide ideas & suggestions, participate in contests, helps automate and engage your residents to contribute to the community and its safety. A major advantage is that smartphones are rich in built-in features, and having the ability for residents to submit more data through their phones allows for better serving the community. i.e: submitting photos and geolocation of graffiti, waste, damaged or dangerous items.
Accessing government services through a mobile app is what truly defines a mGovernment. Being able to request licenses renewal, register for programs, pay parking tickets, taxes or bylaw fines within the municipal app allows for a convenient method of serving residents. Not only does this provide a better experience, but it also generates more revenue for the municipality as well as increases the likelihood of fine payments by making the service more accessible. In combination with other technologies such as beacons or IoT devices, the mobile app can be enhanced to provide a self-guided interactive tour of the City or even show real-time parking space availability.