The Portal as a Citizen Engagement Tool: Why ECM is part of the solution

by. Terri Jones

During my time in state government, I was part of many discussions about portals. When I worked on a portal for a small business in 1998, they were really seen as an indication of your tech grooviness and functionally. They looked a lot like electronic brochures or phonebooks. The goal? Making sure that you knew who to call in government when you need something. You could argue that many websites still follow that model.

Our expectations for speed, responsiveness and mobility have created a different set of drivers for government IT. Many local officials and state leaders are trying to figure out how to use technology to change the face they present to their constituents. Smart leaders are realizing that a portal isn’t an online phone book. It’s a giant step toward transforming government inside and out. And you can do this with one solution – enterprise content management (ECM).

Manage transactions Talking about a portal isn’t just a discussion about a web solution – that’s an oversimplification of the demands of constituents. A nice website is great, but it doesn’t address an efficient backend that supports effectiveness in your processes. That’s why ECM is critical.

Using ECM, you can create a self-service portal to manage all kinds of government transactions electronically, from paying taxes to reporting conditions to applying for a business license or a benefit. Eliminating paper isn’t the only benefit – the ECM-driven portal accepts documents using a workflow that routes these documents and applications directly and immediately to the staff that need to respond.

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