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Governments exist to improve the lives of citizens, and the right technology is key to bringing that mission into a rapidly changing, digital world. This is nowhere truer than in the case of providing services for citizens who need accessible services. Digital transformation is a pressing issue for most governments, and the imperative to modernize workplaces and services brings with it an opportunity to empower every citizen with technology that is designed with accessibility and inclusiveness in mind.

As most government organizations know, citizen trust is incredibly difficult to build and, in a rapidly changing landscape, even harder to keep. The desire to build that trust is one aspect that is driving digital transformation among governments. There are already inspiring examples of digitally-driven government innovation underway, for instance in Riverside County, where employees are using Microsoft Power BI data analytics to make government spending more efficient and transparent. In fact, citizens are 58 percent more likely to trust a government institution that provides great digital experiences. When most people are accustomed to carrying out their day-to-day tasks in an efficient digital environment, from online banking to making purchases, they expect their experience with governments to be the same. When government organizations meet this demand head-on, providing more efficient, positive digital experiences for citizens, it drives that all-important citizen trust.

For Microsoft, AI is at the forefront of a commitment to developing technology that caters to diverse needs. Using Microsoft Cognitive Services, AI has the potential to break down barriers, particularly in the government space, where people of all abilities need to stay informed and make the most of civic life. Increasingly, citizens are demanding services that are digitally-driven and user-centric, and governments that can meet this demand with intelligent services are well-placed to gain citizen trust and create lasting, positive relationships.

The need to meet citizen demand is clear; that means embracing digital transformation as well as optimizing services for all citizens and making accessibility a top priority. Some cities are already making positive changes. With the help of cloud and AI platforms, people with disabilities in Moscow are using an urban mobility app called Moovit to help navigate public transit and gain independence. Moovit, along with Microsoft, is partnering with cities the world over to help create more accessible transit solutions. Azure Maps underpins these mobility-as-a-service solutions for governments, helping produce more accessible transit apps.

Still, acquiring new technology can take a backseat to merely keeping the lights on, especially in the face of tightening budgets and finite resources. Simply put, governments need to do more with less. Rather than acting as a barrier to digital transformation, the need to streamline processes and conserve resources should be seen as one of the most compelling motives to adopt a more modern, cloud-enabled approach. Digital transformation provides an opportunity to utilize more efficient technologies—doing more with less. The statistics are astonishing: AI and automation in the government space can save up to 96.7 million federal hours a year, amounting to a potential savings of 3.3 billion dollars. By embracing cloud computing and data analytics, governments can increase total revenues by 1 to 3 percent. And, all the benefits of digital transformation include the ability to maximize the accessibility of government offerings.

Creating a robust strategy for digital transformation is one way governments are innovating to meet the unique demands of their industry. These strategies aim to address key issues for governments, such as how to engage and connect with all citizens, how to modernize their workplaces, and how to enhance their services. When these key issues are addressed, a more digitally mature organization emerges, one that is able to provide better, more modern services, boost productivity, and keep citizens of all abilities engaged.

To better understand how digital transformation can help your specific organization achieve more, check out our digital assessment designed for governments.