Digital Adoption in the Public Sector (+ Examples)


Government agencies face increasing pressure to modernize operations and deliver seamless service to citizens. Yet far too often, legacy technologies and outdated processes hold back progress, and the public sector’s digital transformation lags behind other industries. 

The path forward? Prioritizing digital adoption across public sector organizations.

This guide offers a roadmap for accelerating digital adoption in the public sector. You’ll discover strategies for technology implementation. From on-demand training to user analytics, we explore tools purpose-built to ease adoption barriers.

What Is Digital Adoption in the Public Sector?

At its core, digital adoption is the integration of technology across government organizations, from AI-driven decision-making to cloud-based collaborative platforms. Adoption is important to achieving maximum value from digital transformation. 

For government agencies, digital adoption involves two parallel initiatives. First, acclimating employees to new technologies. Simultaneously, it focuses on driving adoption among citizens with digital services like online portals and mobile apps.  

Successful adoption programs bridge gaps between solutions and end-users. They proactively identify and address pain points through intuitive guidance. The result? A workforce empowered to work smarter. External constituents receive transparency and accessibility.

Benefits of Tech Adoption in the Public Sector

It’s easier to achieve digital transformation when you know the challenges. Look at some of the common pitfalls for the public sector and what you can do to work around them.

Improved accessibility

Technology bridges the gap between government agencies and the citizens they serve. Online portals and mobile apps make information and services readily accessible 24/7. Cloud platforms enable remote work capabilities for employees. Digital adoption enhances transparency and two-way engagement.

Data-driven decision making

Technology offers data that can drive smarter governance. For example, analytics dashboards provide real-time insights from multiple sources. AI and machine learning can also rapidly process large datasets to identify patterns. This data-driven approach leads to more informed resource allocation and proactive planning.

More efficient operations

From automated workflows to cloud-based collaboration tools, technology streamlines processes across departments and agencies. It reduces redundancies and simplifies complex tasks. Digital documentation and recordkeeping also increase productivity. All to optimize day-to-day processes.

Enhanced citizen experiences

Nearly two-thirds of consumers who used a digital government channel cited at least one issue. User-friendly digital services improve interactions between government and citizens. When done right, technologies come together to create better experiences.

Challenges of Digital Adoption in the Public Sector

What obstacles prevent digital adoption in the public sector? These are some of the common challenges.

Reskilling and upskilling

Most public services and government offices rely on outdated, legacy systems and manual processes. This presents issues surrounding upskilling and addressing skill gaps across multiple generations of workers.

More concerningly, In PwC’s 2023 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears survey of nearly 54,000 employees worldwide, government workers were less likely than respondents overall to believe that the skills needed to do their jobs would change in the next five years. They don’t see the need for change. 

Government organizations must invest in digital upskill training to introduce employees to new digital tools and systems. This is critical to drive technology adoption and improve processes for all.

Budget restrictions

Implementing digital transformation initiatives will require significant financial and human resources, and governments may need help to justify high expenses and allocate resources effectively. It’s not uncommon for public sector organizations to simply lack the funding necessary to invest in new technology and systems.

For example, Two programs focused on public health preparedness and response, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) and the Healthcare Readiness and Recovery Program, have both experienced major budget cuts over the past two decades. After adjusting for inflation, PHEP funding has been reduced by about half since 2003.

Laws and regulations

Public sector operators also have strict laws and regulations to contend with. Adopting new technology and staying on top of compliance needs can be particularly challenging as requirements change.

For example, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) is a framework to protect government information and operations. FISMA requires all federal agencies to develop, document, and implement agency-wide information security programs.

How to Drive Tech Adoption in the Public Sector

What can you do to support tech adoption in the public sector? Here are effective ways to enable employees and drive technology adoption for government agencies.

1. Appoint adoption leaders

Be sure to start with a team that takes charge of this initiative. The change leadership committee should have a clear mandate, scope, and structure, which should be communicated to all stakeholders

The committee should work closely with your employees and provide guidance and oversight to ensure the success of the digital transformation initiative. This way, employees have direction.

2. Provide contextual in-app training and support

Employees need your support to make big changes while still doing their best work. You also need to provide guidance and tutorials. This way, everyone on your team can confidently use new technology.

With a digital adoption platform (DAP) like Whatfix, create in-app guidance for employees and citizens engaging with digital experiences to provide an intuitive, simple application experience and self-help for citizens who need contextual support.

Software clicks better with Whatfix's digital adoption platform

Enable your employees with in-app guidance, self-help support, process changes alerts, pop-ups for department announcements, and field validations to improve data accuracy.

3. Gather end-user feedback

Whether reporting software bugs or requesting new capabilities, user feedback shapes a digital experience that aligns with real needs. Over time, direct user communication can lead to a community where customers and employees co-create better tech solutions.

4. Provide adoption incentives

Giving users extra motivation can go a long way.  For example, you could reward employees who get on board with adoption early. You could motivate citizens by giving back sustainability to the community when they opt into digital communications.

5. Track adoption metrics with product analytics and event tracking tools

To drive digital adoption, government agencies must understand the current level of application usage and technology adoption. Organizations can do so with product analytics software that captures custom user events and tracks application usage.

Examples of Digital Adoption in the Public Sector

How does this all play out for real public sector employees and citizens? Explore these examples.


The updated website highlights key tasks and information for people enrolled in Medicare and people nearing Medicare eligibility.  A redesigned Medicare Plan Finder makes it easier to compare plan options online. As a result of these improvements user satisfaction scores increased up to 72%,

Public record requests

Public records request volume is increasing nearly 30% year over year. NextRequest simplifies and streamlines the management of a growing number of public records requests with their public records software.

Veteran affairs

The flagship VA Health and Benefits mobile app puts important information just a tap away. It also improves accessibility. With more than 1.8 million downloads, the app is a key digital tool for veterans to access and manage their health care and benefits.

Drive Digital Adoption in the Public Sector with Whatfix DAP

Driving digital adoption is much easier when you have the right support systems in place. This is how Whatfix can help.

1. Provide hands-on simulated training with Whatfix Mirror

What if you could create interactive replica environments of web applications for virtual hands-on user training without introducing risk? Whatfix Mirror can help public sector organizations do exactly that.

Whatfix is the only DAP that provides organizations with a no-code tool for quickly creating replicate sandbox environments of your software, allowing you to conduct beta user tests and train users without impacting your operations and application data.

2. Enable and support users at the moment of need with in-app guidance

Users often need quick help to stick with technology. DAPs deliver by providing in-workflow tips. For example, if a user hesitates to set up an account, a personalized tip can help them progress. By integrating this assistance, DAPs promote user independence and satisfaction.

With Whatfix, create in-app support like Tours, Task Lists, Flows for interactive walkthroughs, and more that provide moment-of-need support for professionals during their work and citizens navigating new tools.

3. Collect user feedback with in-app surveys

End-user perspectives offer valuable direction for enhancing digital tools. DAPs support this feedback loop with in-app surveys and forms gathering user suggestions right in their workflow. This convenience incentivizes participation to guide refinements and feature additions. 

Whatfix’s digital adoption platform makes it easy to create customizable in-app surveys to collect user feedback and insights, including seven different types of questions. All to help you understand what users want and need.


4. Track in-app content usage and consumption with Guidance Analytics

Whatfix Guidance Analytics provides usage and engagement-related data for all your Whatfix content in easy-to-understand visual formats. Using the data, you can make changes to your content where it is necessary and guide users to complete their goals.


5. Capture any custom user action or event with Whatfix Product Analytics

Product analytics is the process of tracking, analyzing, and studying how users engage with a digital product or service. It enables product managers to capture, visualize, and analyze product usage and user behavior data. Whatfix offers powerful no-code Product Analytics tools to help businesses understand their users’ behavior and improve the product/application experience.

Public Sector Technology & Software Clicks With Whatfix

Accelerate your public sector digital transformation by enabling your employees and citizens contextual in-app guidance and constant real-time support with Whatfix’s digital adoption platform (DAP)

Whatfix empowers public sector IT teams with its no-code Visual Editor to create in-app, moment-of-need support and contextual guidance – all inside your public sector software applications and digital processes.  This reduces time-to-proficiency and achieves new levels of productivity and proficiency through better public sector technology adoption for all end-users.

It also provides abilities for self-service, personalization, and guided user experiences for any application end-user – enabling end-users to use public sector technology, improving end-user productivity, and automating operations.

Whatfix empowers a data-driven approach by analyzing tech experiences with end-user behavioral analytics and event tracking. This identifies areas of friction in your public sector digital processes and tech experiences, allowing you to create optimal, contextual user journeys across various end-user segments. 

With Whatfix, public sector IT teams can identify areas of friction causing issues and launch new in-app guided Flows, Smart Tips, and Self Help elements to guide and assist them with localized content that guides them through processes, driving workflow adoption and achieving business outcomes.

How does it work? Whatfix empowers public sector organizations to:

  • Create in-app Flows and Task Lists that guide end-users step-by-step through digital processes and applications.
  • Enable all end-users with Self Help, providing a searchable help wiki that connects to all your help and support documentation, FAQs, help desk articles, and more – that overlays on your applications’ digital UI.
  • Notify end-users of process updates, compliance changes, team updates, deadlines, and more with Pop-Ups and Beacons.
  • Provide contextual Smart Tips that give end-users timely information that nudges them to take the correct in-app action.
  • Use Field Validation to ensure data is entered in full, in the correct format.
  • Collect end-user feedback from end-users such as NPS, customer satisfaction surveys, staff training and onboarding feedback, and bug identification with In-App Surveys.
  • Analyze end-user behavior with User Actions and Enterprise Insights by tracking custom in-app events to optimize user journeys, segment users into cohorts, identify areas of friction, and more.

With Whatfix, you can understand how your public sector technology is used and under-adopted by your employees and citizens. This makes it easier to adjust software onboarding, training, support, and overall end-user adoption strategies—all to provide a seamless experience for every end-user that enables them with the right context and support to utilize new technologies and systems fully.

Ready to get started? Request a Whatfix demo today!

What Is Whatfix?
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guidance on any application that looks 100% native. With Whatfix, create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, task lists, smart tips, field validation, self-help wikis, hotspots, and more. Understand how users are engaging with your applications with advanced product analytics.
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Table of Contents
Software Clicks With Whatfix
Whatfix's digital adoption platform empowers your employees, customers, and end-users with in-app guidance, reinforcement learning, and contextual self-help support to find maximum value from software.

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What Is a Digital Adoption Platform?
DAPs enable technology users with contextual in-app guidance and real-time support to guide them through business processes and to learn in the flow of work.