chapter  8
Transforming Government with Technology
Pages 21

Information technology has the potential to radically transform the way public agencies do their business. Enterprise resource planning (ERP), business process reengineering (BPR), and customer relations management (CRM) are three of the most important developments in the IT industry affecting government and business that emerged during the 1990s. All three promise to revolutionize the way that public and private organizations operate by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their work processes. ERP is a rather ugly name for a suite of software programs that promises to integrate all "back office" operations such as accounting, finance, human resources, and specialized transaction processing systems by allowing cross-functional sharing of data. BPR is a management philosophy (some might call it a fad) that advocates radical changes in the ways that private and public organizations do their business with information technology being viewed as the primary enabler of change. Customer relations management (CRM) software is not really software, although special software and technologies are sometimes involved. More broadly, it is a managerial approach to serving customers and citizens more effectively. Usually called a "front office" application, it has migrated to the public sector as agencies try to enhance electronic services to citizens and become more citizen centric in an effort to improve services.