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Main Building of the City Hall in Old Montreal, Canada.

CitizenOne: Implementing a Digital City Hall for Improved Citizen Engagement

Since the early 2000s, departments of public organizations and various governmental levels have allowed each of their entities to handle digital transformation in their own way. 

For a while this digital shift seemed smooth, but today it's a different story, especially when user experience is paramount, and citizens' data is frequently targeted by cyberattacks. 

Many organizations and their IT teams are either beginning to migrate services online or are trying to integrate their existing services in various ways, either by having to rely on different vendors or using valuable internal resources. 

However, in many cases, migration plans span several years and require a tremendous amount of resources for testing and deployment; leading to many lessons learned in shaping digital ambitions.

During this time, citizens are left wondering: Why do I have to stay online for hours to access a service when I can book a trip online in less than 10 minutes? 

So, how do we quickly construct an effective digital portal, one that truly represents the City Hall or the Ministry – a modern organization serving its citizens? 

Consolidating Public Digital Services: Some Common Mistakes

IT teams across North America working in municipalities and government organizations often inherit a complex digital puzzle. 

How do they balance performance with the protection of personal information? How can each government department reduce silos and function independently while providing a unified user experience?

And above all, how can they enhance the performance of public digital services without replacing aging systems? 

This is no small challenge given the resources they have and the high compliance standards they must meet. 

For many municipal and governmental organizations, the answer lies in piecemeal solutions. Let's look at some of them. 

Using Multiple CMS and Plugins

While there's a significant temptation to use different content management systems for each department (e.g., libraries, urban planning, municipal taxes), it's essential to understand that maintaining this approach long-term can be challenging. 

The CMS and its extensions can be intricate to keep updated. Often, different functionalities will lead to entirely different interfaces from one website to another.  

Maintaining a consistent brand image is crucial when offering online services. A lack of cohesion or difficulty in finding information can easily harm public engagement, not just with the services but also with their trust in the municipality or the current government.

Using Multiple IAM, CIAM, or CRM systems to Access Different Portals

There are many high-performing IAM, CIAM, and CRM tools available today. However, if you read the terms of use carefully, you'll notice that some of them host their servers in various parts of the world, and certain services reserve the right to monitor user data. 

Moreover, the proliferation of different interfaces, credentials, and passwords shifts the headache from internal teams to the citizens. 

Why should a citizen need to remember five passwords when they want to pay their taxes, obtain a building permit, renew a book, request a new recycling bin, or ask for a grant for their business?

For citizens, the city or the government is one single organization, and interacting with it shouldn't be complicated.

Maintaining Physical Processes to Verify User Identity

For security reasons or out of habit, many administrations maintain hybrid processes (email, phone, in-person) for service registration or to verify the identity of users. 

For many citizens who work daily on digital channels, the complexity of these processes can discourage them, leading them to quickly abandon or delay their requests. 

Such complications can significantly increase citizen dissatisfaction and fuel cynicism toward public service bureaucracy.

CitizenOne: A Comprehensive Solution for the Digital Semi-Transformation

In most public institutions and municipalities, we find ourselves in a kind of semi-digital transformation where the multitude of portals and aging systems hinder the complete migration of all services to the digital world.

Not to mention that databases rich with thousands of sensitive pieces of information present many challenges for security teams. 

Fortunately, the trusted citizen portal, CitizenOne, developed in partnership with early adopters at the provincial government level, can assist teams responsible for the migration of services and the consolidation of access in a secure manner and in compliance with privacy laws. 

Here's how CitizenOne helps cities and public organizations better serve their communities in today's digital world. 

Services Catalog Accelerator: Fully Optimize User Experience

In the digital age, citizens want quick access to services provided by their governments and municipalities.

With the Services Catalog Accelerator a component of CitizenOne, it is now possible to unify the entire user experience.

A Fully Searchable and Easy-to-Consult Catalog

No more navigating from one site to another or getting lost in a multitude of tabs.

Now, with CitizenOne’s Services Catalog Accelerator, users can find exactly what they're looking for on a clear, coherent page with an efficient search engine in just a few clicks. 

In fact, you can use our APIs and your URL links to group your existing web pages into a single catalog that is set up to your liking.

The catalog is designed to be self-service, configurable, accessible to all audiences, and optimized for all types of devices.

Register for Services Through a Single Dashboard

Simplicity and fluidity are the keywords for user experience.

After identifying the service they're interested in, citizens can securely log into a dashboard that can be personalized based on the user’s level of interaction. 

If additional identification information is required for certain services, the interface allows for intuitive and quick entry.

Thanks to CitizenOne, it is possible to connect existing portals or design new service workflows while maintaining a consistent interface, certified as accessible and coherent from start to finish. 

A Single Secure Login for Better Adoption Rates

The unification of online services also involves simplifying onboarding processes.

CitizenOne not only offers a secure login session and an advanced IAM tool (with integration support for 3rd party tools) but also introduces a granular approach to identity verification.  

Once logged into the consolidated dashboard, the user may need to provide other personal information depending on the chosen service.

For instance, if they wish to access their tax account, they can provide a previously given account number along with a second authentication factor, like an SMS.  

By using this unique and secure session, the user experience is simplified and made more pleasant. For the user, the step towards digital transition is already taken as they find themselves in their "Digital City Hall". 

It should be noted that among our current clients, this method has led to an impressive adoption rate of 77% amongst the constituent population. 

Strengthening Trust with Appropriate Identity Verification Mechanisms

As digital public services increase in number, it's becoming vital to adopt a more granular approach to consent and access rules.

For instance, booking a swimming session doesn't require the same criteria as accessing a marriage certificate.

By basing information and credential collection on context and consent, citizens' trust is strengthened while safeguarding the administration from excessive personal data collection.

Empowering Citizens Over Control of Their Personal Information

Municipalities and public organizations now have the opportunity to accelerate digital services and set new standards, surpassing the private sector.

They can demonstrate that it's possible to offer a superior user experience while giving citizens control over their data. 

Thanks to the trusted citizen portal CitizenOne, users benefit from a transparent platform to manage their consents, revoke them, and view data shared across different departments.

This approach, increasingly sought after by legislative frameworks, is tangible proof of the importance placed on information security and citizens' autonomy.

Access Rules to Services and Identity Verification

CitizenOne's Enhanced Trust package establishes steps during onboarding, whether using two-factor authentication or further data validation to prove that the user is who they claim to be 

Moreover, CitizenOne allows for securely connecting verification processes to authoritative data sources, making it easier to validate account numbers, permits, or other identification information.

Architected to the principles of Privacy by Design, CitizenOne ensures better digital hygiene, only allowing progressive disclosure of personal information, always in context to the service and always in the user’s control.

Simplifying Policies and Consent: A Solution for Digital Public Services

At the heart of digital public services lies the need to manage consent and regulations effectively and adaptively. 

With departments often operating in silos, tracking and updating policies becomes cumbersome. This is where the CitizenOne citizen portal solution comes in. 

By centralizing all policies within CitizenOne, the process becomes less chaotic. This not only eases the selection and updating of policies but also their inter-departmental translation.

Imagine having a platform where all policies are available in one place, with the ability to manage and track changes in real time.

Benefits for Departments and IT Teams

With the centralization offered by CitizenOne, departments spend less time managing different versions of the same policy.

IT teams can easily select and apply appropriate policies without constantly consulting legal departments. 

This has a dual advantage: it not only speeds up the deployment of digital public services but also ensures the correct identity verification mechanisms are associated with the appropriate policies.

In the end, this guarantees ongoing compliance, strengthening citizen trust in the citizen portal. 

CitizenOne: Your Foundation for Identity Management

In the evolving landscape of digital public services, flexibility is crucial. Municipalities need solutions that can evolve with them seamlessly. CitizenOne provides this flexibility with its secure identity portal.

Whether you're looking to expand your use of existing identity stores or make CitizenOne your foundation, there's no need to replace everything.

You can use Citizen One’s native Identity Management & Authentication module, or integrate smoothly with your existing IAM (Identity and Access Management) or CIAM (Customer Identity and Access Management) tools. 

In most cases, governments prefer to retain their tools and evaluate possible solutions in the medium term.

We apply this philosophy with the notion of access and identity management since our main goal is to ensure easy deployment and a high adoption rate. 

This means you can continue using the systems you have in place while benefiting from CitizenOne and its multiple features.

Simplified Management of Multiple Personas for an Efficient Citizen Portal

In the modern world of digital public services, every individual takes on multiple roles, whether as a parent, entrepreneur, caregiver, or lawyer.

The many facets of their identity translate into a maze of administrative processes that IT teams must orchestrate. The challenge is even greater when it comes to optimizing each user's experience on a citizen portal. 

CitizenOne, through its advanced platform, recognizes the importance of a multi-faceted identity.

The trusted portal offers an effective solution for managing different "personas," allowing citizens to act according to their multiple roles.

An entrepreneur, for example, can delegate administrative responsibilities to a colleague, just as a caregiver might act on behalf of a person in their care.

Optimized Form Management for Smooth Services 

Forms are ubiquitous in public services. Yet, their administration is often a major source of complexity. Grant portals are a glaring example. Drafting a form often requires the involvement of multiple people, making the process tedious. 

CitizenOne transforms this reality through its integrated forms management module.  Administrators can delegate various sections of a form to different individuals, facilitating collaboration.

Furthermore, citizens benefit from a uniform interface, where information can be automatically filled in rather than duplicating entries, speeding up the process while ensuring data security.

For internal teams, this centralization allows for better management and reduces the risk of error in data capture. 

Boosting the Growth of Arts, Communities, and Economic Development 

The impact of CitizenOne goes well beyond administrative simplification.

Non-profit organizations and small businesses, true engines of dynamism for cities and regions, often face significant administrative challenges. Optimal form management can make a difference.

Healthcare industries can massively benefit from CitizenOne as well, healing administrative aches resulting in better patient care. 

With CitizenOne, these organizations, often operating with limited resources, can more easily navigate the administrative maze.

They benefit from a platform that allows them to track their requests, communicate effectively with governmental entities, and obtain the necessary support for their growth. 

In a modern society where digital public services are at the heart of the relationship between citizens and government, a citizen portal like CitizenOne is essential.

It simplifies and optimizes processes, meeting the varied needs of users and their different roles within society. 

CitizenOne: Innovation in Service of Trust

In an era where digital migration has become a necessity, trust in solutions not only lies in their operation but in their ability to innovate without causing disruption.

At Portage CyberTech, the notion of innovation is at the heart of our development teams and practices.

CitizenOne is integrated into our complete suite of solutions, including the ConsignO Cloud trusted e-signature platform, the 1CRM system, and our Drupal DXP-CMS.

Here's how we assist our clients in consistently embracing innovation in a scalable manner and in compliance with their requirements. 

Self-service Configuration: Deployment with Risk Control

Setting up a citizen portal should neither be a laborious nor a risky process. With CitizenOne, the burden of complex integration is gone.

Thanks to a self-service configuration, institutions can start integrating their services as early as tomorrow, merging their tools into a platform that comes with the capabilities described above pre-integrated. 

This agile approach breaks down traditional barriers, enabling smooth and efficient deployment, all based on similar and extensively tested deployments with public sector customers.

Management of Digital Proof: Towards Greater Control of Personal Identity

The rise of digital credentials is dramatically transforming how governmental entities interact with citizens.

These decentralized and secure identities offer an unprecedented level of control, blurring the lines between physical and digital interactions. 

With CitizenOne’s identity engine, a municipality can, for instance, issue a verifiable and portable identity.

This means a citizen can have such an identity on their smartphone, securely housed in a digital wallet.

This innovation, akin to the QR codes of concert tickets or boarding passes, notably gained popularity during the pandemic with vaccination certificates. 

With this technology, it's possible to easily validate an individual's attribute, such as age or vaccination status, without knowing their birthdate, gender, or home address.

This approach ensures citizens reveal less while still gaining access to essential services.

Compliance with the New Regulatory Framework

In the ever-changing landscape of regulations, it is crucial for any citizen portal to comply with current standards.

CitizenOne not only meets these requirements but anticipates them, ensuring administrations remain up-to-date and aligned with the evolving needs of society. 

For instance, the teams at Portage CyberTech and CitizenOne stay informed about regulatory frameworks in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

This allows them to respond to industry trends even before certain regulatory directions are adopted.

As many organizations operate across multiple continents, this ensures a future proofed,  technological solution to evolving legislative change.

CitizenOne: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Action

CitizenOne positions itself as a flexible and agile tool, designed to promptly meet the changing requirements of citizens, communities, and technologies. 

Thanks to its unparalleled flexibility, it allows governmental entities to move with unprecedented speed and efficiency, ensuring that the concerns of citizens are addressed with the urgency they deserve. 

More than just a portal, CitizenOne embodies a vision: that of transparency.

By promoting strong ties between administrations and citizens, it encourages open and honest collaboration, establishing a mutual trust relationship. 

By providing clear and direct access to services, and ensuring that processes are transparent and understandable, the portal strengthens trust and civic engagement. 

In conclusion, CitizenOne is not just a digital tool. It's the answer to the needs of today's citizens, ensuring that their voice is heard and that their concerns are at the center of all decisions. 

Where does CitizenOne come from?

CitizenOne is a citizen portal built by the public sector for the public sector. First deployed in 2016, it has been continuously developed, tested, and enhanced by provinces and territories across Canada, with millions of users utilizing it today. 

The solution provides an easy and intuitive way for citizens to renew their health insurance card, driver's license, apply for permits and access their records. Fully mobile, responsive it can be used on any device.  

For more information, do not hesitate to request a demo from our team of experts.

 

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