Digitization in public authorities: Learnings from the app for parking violators

In German authorities much is talked about digitization. However, implementation is still lacking. Recently authorities launched an app against parking violators. Why they chose this topic over such with higher social priority, is explained in an expert statement of ISG.

Who is not familiar with it: Once you arrive at the authorities you pull a three-digit number and you know –  I will spend the next few hours waiting here. The public sector is often said to have a slow pace of work. And that is not least due to outdated processes and a lack of digitization. Digital and mobile applications, for example to request documents online, are only slowly being developed. And now Hessen surprised us with an app for park sinners. Find out what this app is all about and why the business case is so special.

That´s what the app is for

Hessen is now providing municipalities with a mobile app that allows false parkers to be recorded digitally. Tickets are automatically generated, only the cover note is sent as a letter and by mail to the addressee.

First the interface then the backend integration?

The basis for the mobile app is the owi21 application for processing traffic violations, which has been in use by the Hessian (a state in Germany) police since 2004. Owi21 also allows those affected to view the evidence online and to transfer the money directly electronically. Paypal and credit card are digitally integrated means of payment. It took fourteen years until they finally developed the corresponding mobile frontend. This is unusual because the development of such mobile applications is generally associated with little effort. The integration into the backend system and a sophisticated digitized process is the real hurdle.

However, this obstacle has already been overcome in 2004. Although it took 14 years to reap the rewards in terms of mobile productivity, Hesse is still the first state to operate this app.

Profitable income source for municipalities

And this pays off: as many as seven federal states obtain owi21 from Hessen, so they do not lose any more time and do not fall further behind. And Wiesbaden is happy about the resulting license income. The monetization of owi21 was certainly a very clever move from Wiesbaden. It is idle to discuss why a mobile enterprise scenario that is so obvious was realized so late.

Digitization of core processes as success factor

The fact that Hesse now also earns money as the operator of this application shows that relative speed in digitization and above all in mobilization is still rewarded – even among authorities. All in all, this use case raises a few interesting questions: What is the most important workflow in your house, which deserves a mobile frontend, a continuous digitization and more automation? Can you build a solution and ask partners or competitors to pay? If there are clear answers to both questions, then from now on the time counts from start to finish.

This article is based on a press release of ISG, March 2018

Source cover image: LeoPatrizi / iStock