Gov 2.0 – Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?

GovLoop recently hosted a webinar sponsored by HP and AMD, Gov 2.0 – Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?. The webinar was a fascinating discussion on the current state of Gov 2.0. The panelist also provided expert insights from a recent survey conducted by HP and AMD. The educational survey served as a solid base for the discussion.There is an archived version of the webinar, which you can find here.

The panelist for the webinar included,

  • Phil Bertollini, CIO/Deputy County Executive, Oakland County, MI
  • Adriel Hampton, Chief Organizer at NationBuilder, Founder of Gov 2.0 Radio
  • Christina Morrison, Public Sector Marketing Manager, HP
  • Steve Kester, Director of U.S. Government Affairs, AMD
  • Steve Ressler, President and Founder, GovLoop

Key survey findings include:

  • Although more agencies have implemented an ongoing Gov 2.0 strategy (9 percent in 2010, 17 percent in 2012), there has been an increase in agencies that do not plan to implement a strategy at all (11 percent in 2010, 28 percent in 2012).
  • Respondents cited increasing technology budgets (25 percent) as the best way to encourage Gov 2.0, replacing having management take the lead.
  • Among those who use Gov 2.0 tools, 54 percent saw the most positive impact internally with increased efficiency and internal communication, while 39 percent saw the most positive external impact on public services.
  • The area of Gov 2.0 that holds the greatest potential for public benefit is the dissemination of critical information, such as health and safety announcements (37 percent).
  • Seventy-two percent of government IT professionals surveyed think that the proliferation of tablets and mobile devices has had a positive impact on their agency.

The press release announcing the survey results states that HP and AMD believe that the findings of the survey are a great educational opportunity for adoption of Gov 2.0 initiatives. Steven Kester, Director, US Government Affairs, AMD, stated in the press release, “This is an opportunity to share information and help government IT professionals address any lingering questions,” he continues, “We’re excited to see government agencies adopting new interactive tools like video and multimedia. Our computing products and solutions offer strong security features while helping connect citizens quickly and efficiently to the services they need and expect.”

Christina Morrison, Public Secor Marketing Manager, Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP, stated in the press release, “The results of this survey illustrate that the Gov 2.0 movement has created new opportunities to use technology tools for the benefit of our government agencies and citizens,” she continues, “HP is working closely with government agencies at all levels to deliver computing products that best position them to improve internal efficiencies and deliver valuable services to the public.”

The webinar touched on numerous elements of Gov 2.0 and also explored the survey results. I’ve mapped out my key take-aways below:

Ambiguous Definition

Steve Ressler started the discussion off by asking if it was a surprise that there was ambiguity in the definition of Gov 2.0. The survey results find that 57% respondents say they did understand what Gov 2.0 means, while 43% did not. Adriel Hampton pointed out that of the 57% who stated they understand what Gov 2.0 entails; they all likely have different definitions.

Gov 2.0’s definition has always been ambiguous at best, and that was not surprising to see in the survey and hear during the panel. I really liked how Adriel Hampton said that Gov 2.0 is about a mindset. Adriel was acknowledging that a Gov 2.0 mindset is one in which government has the ability to adapt to the cultural needs and demands of citizens. As we continue to move forward with Gov 2.0 initiatives, it will be fascinating to watch how the movement generally develops and how the term is used – if at all.

Gov 2.0 Needs Resources

Another theme from the presentation was that for Gov 2.0 to continue to evolve, resources are needed. Resources that were identified during the webinar included technology, staff, and funding for Gov 2.0 initiatives. According to the survey, security was sited as the main barrier to adoption of Gov 2.0 tools (40%). The survey also finds that budget (20%) and a lack of technical expertise and ability (14%) are also barriers to broader Gov 2.0 adoption.

Gov 2.0 Is Not IT Departments – It’s People

People are the drivers of Gov 2.0, Adriel Hampton mentioned that if people are demanding a new service – then there is no reason to mandate the use of the technology. Steve Ressler identified that new initiatives should be what are “practical and meaningful” for the citizen.

Mobile is Game-Changing

Phil mentioned, “Mobile is changing everything.” The way we view information and expect to receive information has been changing. Christina Morrison believes that through mobile technology, more services will be provided to citizens than ever before, and provide new ways for government to engage with stakeholders.

Tools Are Shifting – Video and Multimedia Increasing

The survey results find that more Gov IT professionals are using video as a means of delivering information. Steve Kester acknowledges that survey data shows that people are using different technology to access information, and believes the more screens, the better.

Need to Provide Gov 2.0 Through Multiple Channels

Adriel Hampton noted, “Different types of people use different types of tools.” This can be extremely frustrating for government agencies embracing a Gov 2.0 initiative. The goal is to go where the audience is and deliver information in the most efficient manner.

Overall, the webinar was a great overview of the current state of Gov 2.0 and how Gov 2.0 might look in the future, I’d encourage you to take a listen to the webinar if you can.

HP’s mission is to invent technologies and services that drive business value, create social benefit and improve the lives of customers — with a focus on affecting the greatest number of people possible. Check out their HP for Gov group on GovLoop as well as the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.

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David Tallan

I find it interesting that the top way cited to encourage Gov 2.0 is increasing budgets. I have a strong suspicion that the real driver for Gov 2.0 is going to be decreasing budgets. With significant austerity measures, minor changes to how we do things will not be enough. It’s going to take disruptive changes. That’s where a number of the Gov 2.0 solutions come in: leveraging existing, free external platforms, using emerging web technologies (often available as free, open source), partnering with the public and the broader public-sphere for co-production of services, etc. These won’t come from bigger budgets but when smaller budgets make doing it the old way impossible.