Remote government preparedness index 2020: U.S. midsize community digital services

As COVID-19 disrupts traditional government operations, some communities are more prepared for distributed, digital services than others.

Since December 2019, CityGrows has been conducting market research on which governments have embraced digital services and which haven't. We were looking for an answer to one question: who are our sales targets?

Then the coronavirus hit, and our questions changed: Which governments are the most and least prepared to provide essential services without face-to-face interactions? Which governments will lead the transition, and how will others learn from them? And how will Covid-19 change the landscape of digital government going forward?

In light of these events, we've decided to share this data publicly.

About CityGrows

CityGrows is a web platform for managing online permitting, licensing, and government workflows. If you're looking to enable remote work by transitioning to digital services, you can contact us to learn more, or get started right away.

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Which communities provide the most accessible services?

The colors in the following map correspond to the number of services offered online out of the 6 we considered, green being the most and red being the least.

How does your community compare?


This research was conducted from December 2019 through February 2020, and it provides a snapshot of pre-COVID-19 government. We anticipate that during 2020, governments will have to accelerate their transition to digital services in order to:

  • quickly stand up new programs and services to relieve economic and social hardship
  • allow staff to work from home during quarantine conditions
  • reduce costs, increase efficiency, and prepare for decreased revenue
  • maximize missed revenue

Originally, one of our goals was to determine whether governments were making their processes more accessible to people with disabilities. When PDFs are online, they’re often not accessible, and not usable from smartphones or other mobile devices. In the current context, what’s of greater concern is that PDF-based applications require manual data entry or are the first step in a non-digital, in-person management workflow.

Some quick facts

We looked at 6 types of processes, chosen to reflect a broad range of functions fulfilled by local government.

Of the governments that supported all 6 of the processes we considered:

  • Over 99% made at least one process available online
  • Only 4% made all 6 of them available online
  • About 30% made half or more available online

How to explore

See how cities stacked up on specific processes

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2020 Digital Services Census  |  CityGrows