Social CRM for Government

One of the key headline themes for our upcoming white paper and workshop focused on Ontario’s Drummond Report will be ‘Social CRM for Government’.

As the name suggests this describes the combination of traditional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) with the new world of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin et al.


There are many different aspects to this, such as marketing and user policies – Interacting with customers via social channels presents a myriad of personnel challenges.

There is also technology, both in terms of connecting your systems to the web 2.0 world, and also using it internally too. You can run your own Linkedin-type web sites internaly to better improve knowledge collaboration.

Most importantly is the understanding of why to deploy it, the business case and the benefits it can bring.

For our Cloud Best Practices we analyze case studies of adoption pioneers, and examples in this field include Kent in England. In this news piece Kent discuss their IT strategy and provide a link to the document itself, which lays out their vision for better utlizing CRM to meet the needs of their local citizens.

Not only do they recognize CRM as being essential to better service delivery, but critical to the goals of the Drummond Report they identify the key cost reducing capabilities that this type of technology offers, via their ‘Cost To Serve’ fomula (based on this report), which highlights how much it costs the council to meet citizen requests through different channels:

Cost To Serve

  • Face to face : £7.40
  • Telephone: £2.90
  • Web: 32p

It’s clear from this simple stat just how powerful the transformative ability of technology is; a well implemented investment in this area can not only improve service for citizens but it can enable significant cost base reductions for their operation too.

A web process is 20 times cheaper than an offline, face to face process, and hundreds of times faster – Citizens can resolve their own needs online in seconds compared to hours of painstaking form-filling in offices.

Cloud-enabled Digital Economy

Employing over 60,000 people, mammoth organizations like Ontario Province undoubtably have many business process areas that could be transformed this way.

The challenge of course is that these new systems required highly specialized skills to conceive, procure and implement, and it’s unlikely this activity is underway pervasively across the organization.

This is what makes Cloud Computing the key technology to this type of overall transformation. It is ideal for this type of web 2.0 type application and the skills and hosting capabilities can be concentrated in key centres of excellence, where they serve multiple levels of government.

Doing so would deliver the second ‘double whammy’ benefit – This would also boost the local economy. As Kent highlights they plan to invest in this area over the next few years to achieve these goals, and they will be one of thousands of agencies doing so all over the world.

Canadian firms that meet the same needs of local Canadian governments will therefore be primed for international expansion, growing significantly through meeting these needs and thereby growing new jobs, more taxes etc.

In short this is why Cloud Computing is so key to the Drummond Report. In simple accounting terms it can reduce costs by 20x factors and it can grow the revenue base through hyper-growth oriented market strategies that also address the shortage of technological innovations Canada is experiencing.


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