According to IDC’s Worldwide New Media Market Model, by 2015, for the first time ever, more people in the United States will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs. This means government will need to change how it delivers information and communicates with citizens. In the mobile era, citizens want to access relevant information anywhere, anytime, and on any device. They want it to be quick, easy and more often than not, they want to do it on their own. Lastly, similar to the private sector, they want to interact with government agencies through a variety of channels (phone, email, social media etc).
Citizen expectations are only increasingly. To meet these expectations, state and local governments are adopting mobile technology to reach citizens where they are- online and on the go. Moreover, they are maximizing their social media efforts to communicate with and engage citizens. Most believe this will change the citizen-government relationship for the better because responses to inquiries, general comments and feedback will be addressed by an actual person in near real-time. In addition, understanding the citizen (and in many cases, the customer) is the first step to cutting costs, increasing efficiency and improving services.
Through mobile technology, specifically apps, state and local governments are engaging citizens in a variety of ways including:
- Emergency alerts and crisis-response communications
- Services tools (311 numbers)
- Transportation information for parking, public transportation or traffic rerouting
- Tourist/visitor information apps
State and local governments are also encouraging citizens to develop their own apps. According to IDC, more cities will use open-data initiatives to help fuel mobile-app development by the public and thus provide more of the services citizens want. Recently, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released an online catalog of state apps that you can view here. There are currently 160 apps in the catalog, which is a small fraction of actual apps, but they are adding more as time goes on. It's pretty to cool to look at the different apps created by each state.
Mobile technology is just one piece of the puzzle as government tries to do more with less. State and local governments are also looking to leverage big data technology, predictive analytics and cloud computing to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and deliver better services to citizens. While state and local leaders attempt to implement these new technologies, they do face some major hurdles, most notably tight budgets.
To learn what leading CIOs are doing to leverage new technologies while remaining secure and cost-efficient, Cisco and Consero are hosting a Virtual Government IT forum.
This Virtual Forum is the first in a series of online discussions between state and local government visionaries. These visionaries are peer nominated government technology thought leaders and represent governments of varying sizes. They will be discussing how they’ve tackled some of the toughest challenges facing state and local government and brainstorm about the future role of technology in government. Specifically, they will dive into these hot topics:
- The Future Of IT: Exploring Innovative Trends And The Evolving Role Of A CIO
- Improving Strategic Decision Making Through Business Intelligence And Data Analytics
- Mobilizing Your Workforce And Increasing Communication Channels
- Risk Management, Education, Solutions: Best Practices In Cyber Security
- Moving To The Cloud And Overcoming Public-Sector Security Risks
Want more information on citizen engagement? Be sure to check out the Citizen Engagement Resources Hub.
For more than 25 years, governments around the world have partnered with Cisco to address challenges and achieve strategic objectives. By working closely with government leaders like you, we glean insights that cultivate thought leadership and help us design, execute, and test solutions based on best practices and our partner ecosystem. These ongoing relationships have forged thousands of proven implementations across a variety of public sector organizations, providing continuous innovation in how communities are managed and renewed.