The tornados in Oklahoma and the bombings in Boston showed the true power of state, local and city government employees. Part of the reason they were able to be as effective and efficient as they were was due to the technology at their disposal.
Big data, cloud computing, BYOD and mobile all played a role in the government response to those tragedies.
GovDelivery has taken a close look at the 2013 emerging technology trends in their survey: 3 Trends May Change How You Work This Year. They asked respondents to think about trends through three different lenses: trends taking center stage, trends their organization is already addressing, and trends affecting their work. Not surprisingly, the three trends that ranked at the top of all categories were mobility/bring your own device, citizen/customer service, and collaboration with other agencies and citizens.
The Top 3 Trends that Emerged:
- Collaboration with other agencies and with citizens. Interagency collaboration is something that has been talked about for awhile. But the real emerging trend is now government is trying to create a two-way conversation between itself and the public. Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsom said "We are no longer just doing things TO citizens but doing things WITH them." GovDelivery's survey found that more than 60% of respondents said their offices were currently collaborating or trying to collaborate on a broad scale. But it is not all good news, the survey also found particularly in county governments, many respondents are not yet making use of social media for collaborative purposes.
- Citizen/customer service. Citizen engagement is the key to success for many government organizations and the only way to engage successfully with the public is with good customer service. The GovDelivery survey found the focus on citizen service is strongest at the city government level. Being closer to their constituents and taxpayers, county govies realize the importance of proving their value to the citizens who directly impact their budgets.One of the ways to do that reaching out is with email and text messaging. For example in Detroit the city has created a TextMyBus application that allows citizens to quickly and efficiently figured out the bus schedule. The application has been a major success.
- Mobility and BYOD are a major concern and growth possibility for government organizations at all levels. The GovDelivery survery notes that internally, many employees want to use their own devices to access applications and data. By making government applications accessible through personal devices, governments can empower their employees to be responsive to citizen requirements. Enabling mobile access to government systems improves productivity while reducing government costs to provision devices to employees and contractors. But the rapid growth in mobile adoption may be outpacing some government efforts. While around half of the respondents listed mobile/BYOD as a top trend, fewer said that their agencies were currently addressing the issue.
I encourage you to check out the full report and survey results here and be sure to check out the Communications and Citizen Engagement resources page for more information.