The Digital Empathy Revolution: How Data Distribution Strategies Can Benefit From Soft Skills
How agencies provide service to their constituents is changing. Brian Solis of Salesforce and Sandy Carter of Amazon Web Services chatted during a recent webcast about how emotional intelligence will play a vital role in the “new normal” of customer service.
Since the start of the pandemic, federal agencies and businesses have fast-tracked adoption of digital distribution services. So much so that a recent survey found that 97% of respondents said the coronavirus had accelerated their digital distribution strategies. More than ever, constituents demand greater digital transparency and interaction from their governments, driving agencies to find ways to deliver service securely.
But for agencies to improve services for their constituents, IT departments and agency leaders must focus on data.
“Once COVID hit, we all learned the importance of data. Because for all of these real-time decisions [like] how do we get food to the right place, vaccines to the right place, masks to the right place, all that requires data,” said Sandy Carter, vice president for public sector partners and programs at Amazon Web Services.
The Future of Digital Distribution Strategies
Although the U.S. is seemingly rounding the corner on the pandemic, the coronavirus will not be the last crisis to besiege government. By pursuing digital transformation, agencies and departments better ready their distribution channels for future disruptions.
“We knew [during the pandemic] that digital transformation was mission critical. We used to talk about disruption, not pandemic disruption, but disruption and digital transformation was really about how organizations could continually respond to disruptive events, trends and technologies,” explained Brian Solis, global innovation evangelist for Salesforce.
For agencies looking to pursue digital transformation, the first course of action, according to Carter, would be to understand their data. Carter recommends that before entering a partnership, agencies and businesses answer these four simple questions to better understand the details of their data.
- Where is your data located? On-Prem? Cloud? Hybrid?
- What is the quality of your data?
- How is data collected in your organization?
- What data and applications are mission-critical?
By addressing these questions, agencies better prepare themselves for collaborative partnerships, ensuring that regardless of whatever the next crisis may be, the federal government will be able to respond in time.
Emotional Intelligence — A Hidden Superpower
In addition to helping agencies prepare for the unknown, collaborative partnerships emphasize a critical component of digital transformation: emotional intelligence. Otherwise known as EI, emotional intelligence is a hidden superpower within agencies that may contribute to better-performing workers. For those who need more convincing, Carter explained how EI helped AWS mitigate risks and gain further insights.
“I did a 100 by 100 tour, which is 100 partners in 100 days. I did it all virtually, of course, and I really listened to what the partners had to say … and it gave me a lot of good insight … it really helped me figure out some of the things to mitigate the risks,” Carter mentioned.
Emotional intelligence, like that displayed by Carter during their 100 by 100 tour, can help agencies and businesses mitigate future risks, primarily because employees are engaged in risk management activities that can promote greater understanding.
In the case of AWS, increased insight allowed for the business to uncover new solutions aimed at addressing the needs of federal consumers.
“In the public sector space, we had a couple of very specific solutions, as well. We have Salesforce Government Cloud Plus that’s on AWS GovCloud, which really helps around that security, end-to-end security area. And then finally, CIM, or the Cloud Information Model where we collaborated with Salesforce and Genesys,” said Carter.
For federal agencies, implementing EI in conjunction with robust data foundations can help the bureau move closer to the constituent's needs. Digital distribution strategies that incorporate the two are ultimately better prepared to weather the next pandemic and prepared to meet the needs of their constituents.
Check out Brian Solis’ and Sandy Carter’s conversation at the Salesforce Public Sector Summit.
This content is made possible by our sponsor Salesforce; it is not written by nor does it necessarily reflect the views of Govexec's editorial staff.