Sunday, April 27, 2014

Digital Government and the DMV

     Digital government does more than just provide information and service to the public.  It also helps to make government agencies more efficient, empower government employees and empower the public.   We have all used digital government services at some point.  Recently, as I stood in line at the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), I witnessed five people be referred to the website for online services instead of waiting in the line.  Some left, I am guessing, deciding to take advantage of the “line free” digital government service, but others chose to wait it out.  The DMV employee was empowered by the fact that he/she could instruct the public to use the online services, therefore reducing the strain on DMV employees and customer wait times.  Those that left were empowered by the DMV employee to save time and utilize the online services.  They did not have to wait in long lines and could process their request on their own schedule and not have to take time off of work. 
      For those that stayed, previously, I would not have thought anything of the phenomenon, but now, I thought of the possibility of the “Digital Divide.”   Did the individuals who stayed not have access to the DMV’s digital service?  This would make utilizing the DMV office the only way to get these public services.  Until the “Digital Divide” problem is resolved, government agencies, such as the DMV, will need to provide brick and mortar services.  Internet access is still expensive, and for the most part so are computers, but probably the hardest issue to tackle is lack of user experience.  Some individuals have no computer experience and/or are not tech savvy.   Bridging that gap is a difficult challenge and some individuals just do not want to learn.   
     Personally, if I could have settled my issue online, I would have done so, but alas there was no online DMV service to assist me.  So I waited and waited and waited…..

No comments:

Post a Comment