Local governments serve many functions, from maintaining utilities and public works to addressing citizen requests. Put simply, there’s a lot of data to store and tasks to manage. Fortunately, there are software solutions for local governments that can help.
Governments today often use software to store critical administrative data, streamline communications, and vote on agendas, all within a central hub. The software helps to preserve public data integrity, improve transparency, facilitate access to public records, and enhance collaboration between citizens and their governments.
Other benefits include boosting accountability, abating management costs, and enabling data-backed decision-making and city council meeting management. With so much at stake, choosing the right software solution with the option to customize different features proves vital.
Read on to learn more about the five main types of local government software solutions. We’ll also examine how each platform supports administrative functions.
How to Evaluate the Local Government Software
When choosing local government software, you typically want to look for a solution that enhances efficiency, collaboration, and transparency, not to mention improves communication and meeting management. Consider the following factors when selecting local government management software:
- Ease of use: It’s important the software you choose is easy and intuitive to adopt. When a software is easy to use, it shortens the onboarding time and helps government employees quickly begin utilizing the software in their daily work.
- Functionality: Look for a government software solution that offers customization to meet your unique needs. Key features often include the ability to store meeting minutes and agendas, options for webcasting and live streaming, among other core features. The best options also seamlessly integrate with popular software you already use.
- Security: It’s absolutely critical for local government software to promote data security and guarantee information privacy, even while storing information in the cloud.
- Customer support: Make sure the local government software vendor offers robust customer support via a variety of channels. Leading software providers typically provide on-demand videos, training sessions, and other support to help your employees quickly get up to speed.
Types of Software Solutions for Local Governments
Next, let’s look at the different software solutions available for local governments. The main categories include performance management software, communications software, financial management software, citizen relationship management software, and meeting management software.
- Performance Management Software
Performance management is the process of supervising, measuring, and appraising local government functions to ensure counties, municipalities, and cities operate well and meet their goals and objectives.
In this case, the software enables local governments to track individual or team performance, generate reports, and analyze financial and non-financial metrics based on public data. For example, you can use performance management software to expand budgetary allocations to specific departments.
When local governments regularly track performance metrics, they can use data to inform policy adjustments and other key initiatives. OpenGov is a cloud-based technology solution that measures performance, improves the budgeting process, and fosters public engagement.
- Communications Software
Local governments operate effectively when they promote transparency and clear communications between employees and the general public.
Previously, local governments relied on paper documentation and face-to-face interactions. Modern communications software enables local governments to communicate remotely and also access critical documentation via the cloud. Besides enabling instant dissemination of information, these solutions eliminate paper documentation and offer unified data access.
For example, Socrata enables governments to strategically use data to improve the design and delivery of key programs.
- Financial Management Software
Technology-based accounting software provides necessary transparency of financial data and transactions and ensures both internal and external stakeholders have a clear understanding of how the government allocates financial resources. Financial management software typically serves five primary functionalities: budget management, value management, financial control, governance, and accountability. The best software integrates accounting processes with other applications and tools.
For instance, FreshBooks provides government accounting software that helps municipalities with bookkeeping, invoicing, expenses and receipts, and other financial services.
- Citizen Relationship Management Software
Citizen engagement proves vital in a robust democracy. Citizen relationship management software solutions focus on facilitating communications with constituents and local governments as well as providing timely responses to citizen requests. Citizen relationship management software typically enhances engagement and communication via online citizen portals, emails, in-person appointments, or telephone calls.
A popular example is Accela. Accela government software currently serves more than 275 million people globally and was a key part of the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 response.
- Meeting Management Software
Lastly, let’s examine meeting management software. Research indicates the average employee spends at least three hours per week in meetings, which can lower overall output and impact morale. Meeting management allows for enhanced meeting preparation, booking, and organization.
Meeting management solution eScribe provides in-person and remote meeting access, data and analytics reporting, agenda-making and meeting management, seamless integration with popular tools and software, and a measurable return on investment (ROI).
How eScribe Powers Local Government Effectiveness
To wrap up, the five leading local government software solutions include performance management software, communications software, financial management software, citizen relationship management software, and meeting management software. As you hunt for local government software solutions, make sure to consider ease of access, functionality, security, and customer support.
With eScribe, you can ensure all team members contribute to proceedings, address issues in a timely manner, improve communications with employees and constituents, and more.
Want to learn more about local government technology? Download the Key Considerations for Public Sector Webcasting white paper to examine the 13 critical deliberations when picking a video streaming service.