We just attended the CCAC; it was a great show, as usual! We love seeing our clients; something special happens when a group of city clerks gets together. This year’s theme was Build Back Better, and we can’t imagine a better group of staff to lead this charge than city clerks.
Often uncredited, city clerks of our acquaintance are often the drivers of digital transformation for their agency. While clerks have one of the oldest known roles in government, their vision for the future has led to tremendous advances in how their agencies work and grow. The days of paper-based workflows in local governments are being optimized—digitally optimized—and replaced with some of the most advanced technology to rival even the private sector (Laserfiche). The only thing that clerks need to do now is to continue pushing the limits of digital transformation and reveal their marked progress to their digitally-minded citizenry.
Some experts argue that digital transformation is a quality-of-life consideration for residents. Digitizations allow agencies to serve their communities better by automating records requests or using digital forms for employment applications.
Looking beyond the obstacles to digitization is essential. Clerks can capture the big picture by encouraging everyone to “ask yourself, ‘What will get us to the city we need in 20 to 30 years?’ If clerks can get the governing body on board to thrive and meet the expectations of citizens and businesses for a more future-forward, consumerized vision, that will help get the agency to the level of efficient service needed.
Clerks in agencies of all sizes need to leverage every available resource to automate and expedite non-strategic tasks to ensure citizens’ expectations are met and that municipal leaders can focus on broader initiatives to help move the community forward. Modern technology, such as Laserfiche, has a unique opportunity to hold staff accountable, demonstrate transparency, and build trust at a time when faith in government and connection with local leaders are sometimes challenged. By embracing digital optimization opportunities, clerks become change agents in their communities and spend less time reacting to requests and workflows and more time achieving civic goals.
After several years of unanticipated change and unexpected opportunities, municipal clerks have led vital digital transformation and online change initiatives in their communities. Still, more work is needed to fully realize citizens’ new expectations for low contact government.