About one in ten U.S. counties grew in the fiscal year that ended last June 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.
That means more people are driving on your roads, paying taxes and utility bills, using public services and expecting even more from the government that serves them. Does your agency have a plan in place to keep up with this growth? Or will your town buckle under the weight of the hefty demands of a larger population?
Here are the six factors public administration leaders need to take into consideration when planning for a larger and more populous future.
Community development: Population growth demands a level of planning and development that influences managing your land. If the permitting process gets overburdened and bottlenecked, there goes any hope of progress. Consider the benefits that automation offers your land-use planning, permitting, inspections and code enforcement in order to build faster and safer.
Finance: Public leaders should prioritize solutions that manage day-to-day accounting, payroll and purchasing functions for a growing community. Agencies should aim to utilize software that reduces processing time for requisitions and eliminates superfluous paperwork, allowing leaders to spend more time managing the fiscal health of their community.
Public safety: Generally, with more people comes more crime, traffic accidents, fires and emergency medical needs. Government leaders should ensure that their public safety officials are given the proper resources to equip public safety personnel with the best technological tools and mobile software to help first responders stay safe while on the clock.
Increased use of assets: As population grows, there will be corresponding demand placed on your assets and infrastructure, all of which require increased monitoring and management. Managing assets proactively will prolong their lifespan and improve your ability to serve your citizens safely and efficiently.
Citizen expectations: Citizens’ expectations of their local government are increasing all the time. With more citizens to serve, you’ll have more expectations to meet. Rise to the challenge by creating an easier and more convenient user experience for citizens when they interact with their local government, much as they do with their favorite brand or retailer – online or via a mobile app, for example.
Limited resources: Agencies must achieve all of the above while working with their current level of resources. A solution to limited resources can be cloud-hosted software. Not only does the cloud cut back on maintenance costs and free up IT personnel from time-consuming upkeep, but it offers flexible scalability that efficiently grows as your agency grows. Cloud technology could be the force multiplier you need to propel your agency past the growing pains of population growth and into a firm foundation on which your future can be built.
With the population growth predicted to continue on an upward trend, it’s important for local governments and municipalities to have a plan in place that accommodates the growing needs of its citizens. Technology has created an expectation for fast and simple fulfillment of an action, whether that is reporting a washed-out road or paying a bill. As population increases, the need for intuitive software that requires little direction also increases and will play a significant role in the success of keeping up with this growth. As rapidly evolving technology continues to shape public expectations, the growing number of citizens will demand technology be developed to meet even greater expectations.