Government 2.0? Let’s Make Sure Government 1.0 Works First

Gartner’s Andrea Di Maio writes:

In my client conversations about government 2.0, people seem to be giving for granted that there is an electronic version of government 1.0 (what used to be called e-government) that actually works and there is great urgency to move on.

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Adriel Hampton

Interesting. I’m finding that the enterprise benefits of Web 2.0 are often bypassed for quick benefits of apps, etc. that generate headlines. The promise of e-gov has definitely not been fulfilled, but Web 2.0 products certainly could help.

Bill Brantley

@Tim – I believe that the real reason that government 2.0 exists is that we have reached the limits of government 1.0. Continuing to improve government 1.0 technology is like trying to advance the technology of steam-powered ships when we have the alternative of jet aircraft. If anything, Gartner’s example of the Italian agency’s email breakdown clearly demonstrate the need to move from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0.

Hillary Hartley

I have worked for an eGovernment company since 1997, and that eGovernment company has been in business since 1991 — before the web, before broadband, before we even knew what to call it. We currently do business in 23 states and at the federal level. Our subsidiaries prove every single day that we absolutely have not reached the limits of government 1.0.

Are we using more web 2.0 technologies? Yes. Is mobile traffic to our sites and apps increasing? Yep, month after month. But is everything we do now “gov 2.0”? Definitely not. Not even close. Government is still getting used to their constituents’ desires to do business online. We help them change their business processes to hopefully move away from paper and long lines. Our work is far from done.

(Full disclosure — NIC Inc., Nasdaq EGOV)

Bill Brantley

@Hillary – And there are still steamships plying the North Atlantic. I know people who still run Windows 95 on their personal computer and I even break out the Commodore 64 every once in a while when I feel nostalgic. As a government service provider, agencies have to cater to all customers in the medium of their choice even if that includes just mailing a piece of paper through snail mail.

But, how many of your agencies want to freeze their technology to the standard in 1998 or 1999? Try selling that kind of solution and you will quickly see the limits of Web 1.0.