“Extensive”, is how Simon Does describes the initial impact of the corona crisis on the business operations of municipalities. As an advisor to M&I/Partners, an independent ICT consultancy, Does supports public sector organizations with setting up their digital strategy.
“First, remote working had to be facilitated hastily,” says Does in a Centric webinar about digital services. “The council meetings became digital. That was new for everyone. An online desk was also needed in the short term where entrepreneurs could apply for financial support via ‘Tozo’, a temporary bridging measure for independent entrepreneurs."
Now, about a year and a half after the virus outbreak, municipal organizations are in calmer waters, says Does. “The pressure from the beginning is now gone. A 'new normal' has now found its way in most municipalities. The impact on internal business operations itself appears to be not too bad.”
This is partly due to the digitization effort that many governments had already initiated before corona. Although the new reality did accelerate that process, according to Does: “As a result of the corona virus, the role of technology in the interaction with citizens and companies has increased enormously. Corona has accelerated the digital transformation.”