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How Rethinking Records Management Programs Can Help City and County Government Funding Issues

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Almost every industry across the country has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and city and county governments are no exception. In fact, a recent article in American City & County stated that "88 percent of U.S. counties have reported budget constraints resulting from the coronavirus upheaval. Of that majority, most have indicated an increase in local expenditures to meet community needs and a decrease in revenue to support these costs." For many cities and counties across the country, this is unsustainable.

As weeks turn into months, and COVID-19 still lingers as a very real health risk, city and county governments must look for new ways to increase revenue while decreasing costs. The pandemic has also added another wrinkle to city and county governments as it has set a precedence for citizens to expect more digital experiences and services. So, how do local governments continue to deliver digital services, while reallocating resources and cutting costs?

City and county governments should use this time as an opportunity to rethink some of their operations and processes – looking to their records and information management programs is one place to start.

The success of every local government in meeting the demands and expectations of the citizens they serve is dependent upon the effective management of information—through the entire information lifecycle. This is an area where city and county agencies can improve significantly by placing a focus on enabling the citizen experience while streamlining operations.

But what is an information lifecycle? All information has a lifecycle: it's created, used, stored/accessed, and lastly, either destroyed or moved to an archive. By transforming the information lifecycle management process and developing a partnership with an industry expert, city and county governments can reap huge benefits in terms of optimized processes and enhanced employee productivity. By transitioning from legacy infrastructure and approaches to a more modernized environment—while navigating the complexities of a hybrid physical and digital world--local governments can create a strategy that unlocks the value of their information, and takes the onus of management and maintenance off internal employees. A renewed focus on information lifecycle management will also help:

  • transform the delivery of citizen services with better access and use of information that improves insights

  • increase operational efficiency with streamlined processes and best practice workflows

  • manage information growth and scale on-demand

  • reduce costs

  • mitigate risks

With the COVID-19 crisis still in the forefront for the foreseeable future, as well as the continued exponential growth of information, an increase in remote workforce, privacy issues and, most importantly, the need to get information to internal and external stakeholders at the right time, local governments require a transformation in their records and information management programs. Focusing on a more modern and effective information lifecycle management approach needs to be an integral part of how local governments move forward into this "new normal."

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