Whenever the applicability of fast-growing enterprise-level content management systems (CMS) like Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is discussed, the focus is usually on the private sector. However, AEM has a lot to offer to nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations as well. Although the two worlds may seem very different in terms of their structure, goals, and processes, they both need highly dynamic digital experiences! At first glance, customer attraction and retention may seem to only be a huge concern for corporate businesses. Public sector organizations also require user-friendly and continually updated digital presence.
The use of AEM in the private sector is growing. Many of the organizations within the public sector are seeing the advantages it offers. This blog discusses ‘Why’ and ‘How’ AEM can help public sector enterprises to deliver and manage dynamic websites to increase citizen engagement, operational efficiency, and content security.
The Need for a Robust CMS Platform
I have been fortunate to work for public sector organizations in the US as well as India; including local government bodies (both municipality and county-level), federal agencies, and research institutions. My roles at each have varied from Research Associate, Project Consultant, and Project Manager, giving me experience and insight across multiple teams and disciplines. My recent role at a federal government agency as a Project Manager allowed me to take a deep-dive into and be more involved with the processes in a very large public sector organization. Over the course of my career, I have observed several operational challenges and resulting pain points within public sector organizations, some of which include:
- The needs and expectations of public sector customers are similar to private sector customers
- Organizations have to constantly provide updated information across digital channels
- Multiple teams (Public Relations, Communications, Analytics, etc.) share the responsibility of managing the overall digital presence of the organization
- A higher level of bureaucracy usually results in arbitrary changes
- The public sector typically operates in a lesser tech-savvy environment as compared to the private sector
- Decisions are primarily based on available funding
- Organizations tend to be very hierarchical
With customers expecting a seamless digital presence in all of their daily interactions, there is a rigorous need for public sector organizations to manage their digital information and create positive customer experiences for their site users. AEM is a very viable option to overcome the digital experience deficits currently observed within the public sector. It can help improve both the delivery and management of web content, thus positively impacting the bottom line by better utilizing the funds available to the organization, reducing the administrative burden of the creative teams, and giving site users the positive interaction they are expecting online.
3 Ways AEM Can Create Better Digital Experiences for the Public Sector
Increased Citizen Engagement:
Public sector websites are a key channel of communication for these organizations to relay important information to citizens including researchers, students, government officials, etc. With the pace of emerging digital advancement, it is imperative for public-facing organizations to have both updated and dynamic websites to match the expectations of their users. Citizens’ experiences are constantly shaped by the personalized web engagements provided by private sector companies (retail, e-commerce). The public sector organizations need to position themselves to compete in that space by matching the experiences offered by other industries. AEM and other Adobe products can help them achieve the goal, in a variety of ways.
Digital engagement forms an important part of a successful digital experience nowadays. Engaging the site audience through personalized information (like relevant quick links), has been proven to be a successful method for site visitor engagement. Moreover, government organizations rely on forms for gathering their customer information. This information can, in turn, be used for providing a personalized experience. AEM forms coupled with Adobe products like Target, Campaign or Analytics are tools that the public sector organizations can use for providing their site visitors with a more personalized digital experience. AEM sites offer the ability to control sites across many regions and languages from one centralized place, which could be explored by public sector organizations to engage audiences from different ethnicities. AEM communities allow organizations to engage with their website visitors through blogs, ratings, and forum. AEM supports websites that are ADA compliant, allowing public sector organizations to stay committed to the value that people with disabilities should have comparable access to digital information.
Improving Operational Efficiency:
AEM serves as a one-stop-shop to create, manage, and deliver digital experiences across websites, mobile sites, and tablets. It gives organizations the power to re-create and reuse the same content across different platforms. This capability could help public sector organizations process and update content faster and more efficiently, but also appeal to the multitude of website users that much prefer mobile accessibility.
Most organizations, including public sector entities, have multiple employees across multiple teams involved in website management. AEM’s User Groups allow multiple users to manage the web content in a more structured and organized fashion. The workflow capability of AEM helps in setting approval levels, thus allowing multiple website authors to work efficiently to develop and publish the content of a single website. It also offers the most efficient way to store, organize, customize, and access assets through its DAM tool called AEM Assets. Together, the ability to allow multiple employees to manage website content in a structured manner while maintaining the veracity of the information could help deliver measurable operational savings today and long-term.
An additional way to improve operational efficiency through apt website management can be achieved by understanding the needs and use of the website by website visitors.
Content Management and Security:
Most websites contain more than one form of digital content: images, videos, documents, apps, etc. With cyber attacks on the rise, it is becoming crucial to protect websites from data and content breaches. Ensuring the security of digital information is vital yet challenging. AEM assets help with content protection by serving as a single repository for storing all of the website’s digital content. AEM proactively assists in protecting and controlling document files from theft or misuse regardless of where the information resides or travels. Moreover, with AEM, secure websites can be created that require the website content authors/managers to login in order to view the content stored on AEM, adding a layer of security. AEM allows all web information to be private until it is published for site visitors.
Typically, within public sector organizations, some systems are being traditionally used for several years and adding new systems increases the disruption possibilities of existing systems. AEM serves as a safe and cohesive platform allowing integration with a number of systems popularly used by organizations. This capability can enable public sector organizations to enhance their digital presence while still using some of their existing system’s tools.
AEM offers features popularly used by public sector organizations on a single platform, with common user interface across tools (AEM – sites, assets, forms, communities, user groups & workflows etc.). This sets the stage for providing the necessary digital experience to public sector site visitors, helping the organizations achieve better citizen engagement and operational efficiency while maintaining content security.
Readings and References: