José Quádrio Alves

Local governments are facing global challenges

At CGI, through our Voice of Our Clients program, we regularly ask our clients about their challenges and opportunities, because hearing perspectives on their priorities not only helps improve our service to them, but also refines our thinking, informs our investments and evolves our strategy.

This year, 349 government clients from 12 countries met with CGI consultants through in-person discussions to share what matters to them. The resulting insights form the CGI Global 1000 outlook, which encompasses the trends and priorities from our 1,000 in-person interviews across 10 industries and 20 countries.

This blog shares some insights and strategic themes that emerged from our clients in state, provincial and local government. Very much focused on regional challenges, these governments are the first line of interaction with citizens. They all are facing similar modern sustainability issues—from economic to social to environmental.

Key trends and priorities

The main trend surfacing for these clients this year is: becoming digital organizations to meet increasing citizen expectations. This contrasts with last year’s top trend of addressing budget pressures.

Reflecting on the business priorities they are setting, they ranked optimize today’s operations and do better for less as the highest. Another important business priority they identified, and a new one this year, is to collaborate across the boundaries of our organization.

State, provincial and local government priorities for information technology are very much aligned with their business priorities, with drive IT modernization to improve efficiency at the top. This reflects the need to run legacy systems more efficiently to enable the second priority, which is to digitize and automate business processes to deliver better end-to-end citizen services.

State, provincial and local government
trends and priorities from the CGI Global 1000 outlook

Based on the CGI Global 1000 insights, these clients are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives significantly. Most (68%) said they are implementing digital transformation and 25% percent said they are investigating it or are engaged in a proof of concept.

Among the challenges to digital transformation they are encountering are cultural change, change management and lack of funding/budget. Another key inhibitor is difficulty attracting and retaining digital talent, which is made more difficult by the weight of the operational costs of their legacy systems.

One thing we have learned from our work with state, provincial and local governments is that, often at the local level, discrete digital projects target opportunistic quick wins instead of being part of a connected digital transformation strategy with clear roadmaps supporting a vision and business goals.

States and localities can learn a lot from the experience of similar organizations in other regions, countries or even continents. Global insights are an important factor in solving local challenges. Digital transformation is an area where sharing best practices across geographies can improve how local governments approach the digital transformation challenge.

Learn more about the CGI Global 1000 and our digital transformation capabilities.

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