“The Internet is uncharted territory for all of us.” With this unfortunate choice of words in 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel earned herself much mockery. But she also opened the floor to intense discussions on innovation in the process. From that point onward, the preaching on digitalization in industry and public authorities would finally end. It was time to practice what had been preached: Industry 4.0, digital paperwork, mobile working, big data.
There were, and still are, many critics despite the allure of the digital transformation. To start with, many approaches were being tested both here in Germany and across the E.U. Many failed or are floundering. Take, for example, the E-Postbrief, which Deutsche Post discontinued in 2012 already. Even its long-awaited predecessor, DeMail, was broadly rejected by potential users (47 percent) in a study conducted in 2015. Further, the electronic health card caused headlines (negative ones, no less) again and the electronic ID card has long since been placed on the back burner due to its (limited) range of opportunities.
Secondly, the numerous scandals regarding data security, such as the security gaps that were detected in the ‘electronic lawyer mailbox’ (‘besonderes elektronisches Anwaltspostfach’) and the ‘PC-Wahl’ election software in Germany, have kindled public debate on data security and IT security for years.
However, all of these unfortunate events and challenges do not force us to conclude that the digital revolution is ‘impossible’ or ‘too complicated’ for the public sector. On the contrary, a more precise fault analysis can help decision-makers in politics and administration to navigate these tricky waters.
In our opinion, the major trends are:
User-centered application development
There is a new philosophy that prevails when developing software products in the era of apps. Developers used to often sit down at the ‘conference table’ and work around the specifications. Highly complex applications were developed and employees required extensive training to operate them properly.
In contrast, user stories and usability are given priority nowadays. Applications need to do more than just fulfill their functionality. The software needs to be made as user-friendly as possible so users can perform their tasks with greater ease. The software is expected to be intuitive, while preventing the user from making mistakes. On top of it, it should be fun to use. Many apps have gained much success based on these aspects alone. Our software enaio® already integrates app connectivity and a universal Web client, completely fulfilling the new requirements for mobile and flexible working.
Smooth migration to a new system
Often a system can only be the best if it only makes few ripples. You achieve the exact opposite of this ideal approach when you plan to introduce a new software solution in your company and need to first train your entire staff beforehand.
enaio® migrates your data and processes to your new environment as your employees have a chance to get accustomed to their new work environment. Gone are the days of the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality. Our systems are generally so intuitively designed that users accept them naturally. By so doing, you can forget about weeks-long training sessions. Often all that is necessary is a help desk, which can step in when things become a little complicated.
The enaio® specialists can often also provide support remotely. Our managed services and company-support solutions ease the workload for your IT experts.
Optimize your workflows
The potentials and hurdles of a new software solution often only become apparent during use, even with the most careful planning. Those who follow rigid development cycles instead of responding to user feedback and incorporating it, waste important competence. If your employees discover a possible shortcut in their workflow, you can implement it in a short time and distribute it to other employees. It is possible to transfer a change in the legal situation to a software solution within a few days thanks to intuitive programming interfaces.
In this manner, your software environment develops dynamically with your requirements, and instead of becoming obsolete over the years, your enaio® is constantly improved.