Gartner Symposium Does Not Paint a Pretty Picture for Government 2.0

Andrea Di Maio writes:

During the last week I presented and run a panel on Open Government, and I had several client conversations with US federal, state and local
agencies, as well a few Canadian federal and provincial ones.

Here are a few highlights:

  • The session on open government was not as well attended as others in the government track on Sunday (such as mine on cloud or Jerry
    Mechling’s on iPad).
  • The panel on Tuesday (see previous post) revealed very little uptake and demonstrable business impact.
  • A one-on-one with a client from a large federal agency revealed how they failed to engage constituents (response was abysmal) and they
    struggle now to justify further effort on such initiatives.
  • Another one-on-one with a client from another federal agency that I met last year showed that he cannot get any support from executive
    management and that communications and public affairs want to retain
    ownership of anything around social media, effectively blocking any
    other initiative.
  • Almost none of the clients I met is looking at social media as additional tools for individual employees to get their job done.
  • In a few cases I have found a worrying confusion between cloud initiatives and social media ones, as if the former were a precondition
    for the latter
  • The CTO from a vendor organization who had attended the O’Reilly’s Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington DC reported that attendance had considerably shrunk from last year.

Full story…

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Justin Herman

I would suggest anyone reading this click on the “Full Story” at the bottom and view the comments at the bottom of the page, as there was significant disagreement from the Federal innovation community on the assertions in this post.

Tim Evans

Justin, a bunch of web 2.0 geeks attending an unconference won’t move SES-er’s, for whom Gartner a**-covering justifies their bonuses.

Tim Evans

Andrea Di Maio has responded:

I do like people to have strong opinions and exhibit passion in an online dialogue. And it is quite clear to me that there is a growing divide between those who evangelize about and drive government 2.0 transformation, and other people in government, who are either followers by nature or simply more cautious in prioritizing their efforts. The problem is that the latter are also those who will be the real users and enablers of government 2.0 going forward.

Full response at http://blogs.gartner.com/andrea_dimaio/2010/10/27/toward-a-more-balanced-view-of-government-2-0/

Andrea Di Maio

Tim, I like your definition of a**-covering 🙂
Thanks for mentioning my response. I just wanted to highlight that I have the pleasure of meeting lots of people, and those I met at Symposium were just a fraction. My sense is that gov 2.0 is trapped in between web 2.0 geeks (let me say, the first generation, more enthusiastic and somewhat genuine) and politicians & consultants with personal agendas and vested interest. I for one insist that the value of gov 2.0 will come from the most unlikely corners, and one must nurture bottom-up approaches. At the same time I call for caution on spending lots of money on open gov plans and pushing data out and building social media channels with a traditional top-down, strategic-planning approach that creates headlines, pays consulting fees but may not lead to value creation.