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USDA Leveraging Modern Technology and Digital Tools to Improve Customer Service

Posted by Megen Davis, Director, Strategic Planning, Information Resource Management Center, Office of the Chief Information Officer in Technology
Jul 28, 2022
The IT Strategic Plan FY 2022-2026 cover

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is driven to lead the way in customer-centered, data-driven service delivery across the Federal Government. It is our goal to accelerate the use of modern technology and digital tools that our internal and external customers expect in every aspect of their lives. We have made significant strides in advancing technology capabilities, including establishing the Office of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and the Office of Customer Experience (OCX). The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) through the IT Modernization initiative, has made major progress in modernizing our information technology (IT) infrastructure to what it is today.

While these advances are a promising start, to achieve USDA’s vision, we need to continue our efforts of developing innovative solutions delivery that supports and strengthens American farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers, and consumers. The recently released USDA IT Strategic Plan (PDF, 19 MB) identifies the goals, objectives, and strategies we will use to continuously improve the Department’s services to the American public. This IT Plan adds to the FY 2022-2026 Departmental Strategic Plan (PDF, 9.6 MB) to collectively focus on significantly improving life and livelihoods across America.

Both plans seek to establish a new standard of excellence in customer experience and service. When the American public interacts with USDA, they will get a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience that is on par with top consumer experiences. USDA customers should be able to:

  • Easily find information on USDA services that may benefit them in just a few clicks via our website homepage, search engine, or phone call to a customer contact center.
  • Fill out forms, provide digital signatures, upload documents, pay a fee, and use self-service digital tools to manage their interactions with government benefits and services.
  • Provide common information to USDA once, and control what data is shared or pre-populated in forms or services across agencies.
  • Get answers and on-demand customer support, via web, text/SMS, email, chat, phone, or in person, including self-serve, personalized, and agent-provided options without waiting.
  • Schedule, and re-schedule, appointments for in-person office or field visits online.

We are committed to accelerating and expanding upon those innovations to improve USDA’s services to our customers. Through the processes and approaches we propose, USDA can make major strides to enable modern service delivery, enhance data-driven decision-making, eliminate duplication of effort, reduce costly and error-prone manual processes, upskill our IT workforce, and ensure the continued strengthening of the USDA cybersecurity posture.

Category/Topic: Technology