Citizens Seek Modernized Digital Interactions with State Governments, Says Report from Conduent and Center for Digital Government

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., September 10, 2018 — Most Americans support greater innovation with new technologies by state governments, indicating a growing demand for more personalized, accessible digital services from the agencies they interact with, according to a citizen experience report released today from Conduent Incorporated, in conjunction with the Center for Digital Government.

Technology has dramatically changed the citizen experience. The vast majority of Americans now own a cell phone. Smartphones and tablets are rapidly replacing laptops, and the percentage of the population growing up digitally connected increases every day. State governments must therefore give serious consideration to adopting engagement technologies that match the experiences their constituents have with private sector companies.

The report finds citizens are looking for:

  • New Technologies: 62 percent of respondents recognize governments should be experimenting with new technologies, showcasing value in solutions that would innovate to improve the utility and convenience of digital services.
  • Voice-activated Services: 54 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 21 percent 65 and over are either enthusiastic about or interested in government services integrating with voice-activated services such as Alexa or Siri.
  • Mobile Services: While only 38 percent of respondents accessed government solutions via a mobile device in the past 12 months, 72 percent are interested in doing so in the future, with top mobile services requested being ability to pay taxes, obtain or renew a driver’s license or vehicle registration, and submit payment for a fine or fee.
  • Greater Ease of Use: 31 percent of respondents are looking for online services from state governments to be easier to use, and more than half have encountered issues preventing them from using these services in the past. Complicated navigation was cited as the top barrier, followed by difficulty getting help.

“This report provides an important blueprint for long-term government IT planning,” said Marcus Collier, group chief executive, Conduent Government. “States must adapt to the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy population and implement ways to improve every digital interaction government agencies have with citizens – from enabling easy state park reservations on a mobile device to providing simple navigation to benefits information on a state website.”

Ease of Use and Security

Interestingly, when asked how state government online services could improve, 31 percent chose ease of use, followed by 18 percent who chose security. But when asked about submitting personal information on state government websites, 91 percent had concerns, showing that security remains a major consideration. The report finds:

  • 51 percent are concerned hackers like to target government sites;
  • 36 percent worry there is not enough security in place; and
  • 33 percent are fearful governments will use their information in ways they don’t agree with.

These findings show that it’s not an either-or scenario among choices. Ease of navigation, making help readily available and ensuring security of data must all be considered as state government digital services are rolled out and enhanced. For navigation, specifically, making readily available the services citizens use most – rather than adhering to how a state agency is organizationally structured – can lead to a better user experience.

Conduent will be sharing more insight from the report during an hourlong webinar on October 11 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Christine Quinn, business development consultant, Conduent Health and Human Services Eligibility, will be joined by Patrick Moore, senior fellow, Center for Digital Government, on a panel moderated by Teri Takai, former CIO for the U.S. Department of Defense. To learn more about the webinar, please visit this website

About the Study:

The “Innovation, Ease of Use and Trust: Improving the citizen experience with digital government services” report was conducted in conjunction with the Center for Digital Government, which conducted a national survey, on behalf of Conduent, of more than 2,000 citizens to better understand their perspectives on government service delivery.