Mobile Government: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

On September 13th, GovLoop hosted our first ever virtual show, the Government Innovator’s Online Summit. The virtual conference brought together nearly 1300 government innovators, and provided five trainings throughout the day. Participants had the opportunity to virtually network, download resources and attend free online trainings to help them do their job better.

Topics for the virtual show included, the State of Government Social Media, How to Advance Your Tech Career in Government, Mobile Government: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond, How To: Create a Great Government Website and a session on Project Management training for government employees. Please follow the links at the end of this post to access a follow up blog and the archive of the webinar. This post will provide a review of the social media session. You can view an archived version of the webinar here.

In 2012, the number of smartphone users will reach 106.7 million with 94% of these users accessing the mobile internet. With citizens and government employees increasingly adopting multiple mobile device and having increased expectations on mobile services, how do agencies adapt?

This session covered to fascinating case studies on how mobile can be used to truly revolutionize how services are delivered to customers. The session also covered:

  • Optimizing your content for a mobile audience
  • Making the decision to use a mobile app vs. a mobile website (or both)
  • Managing content across multiple platforms — from Android, Windows, Apple, and Blackberry


  • Hildreth England, WIC Engagement Specialist at Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Glen Thomas, President, National Association for Government Contractors (NAGC) & Supervisor of Communications & Public Relations, Memphis Light, Gas and Water

Glen’s presentation, Mobile Warming: Time to Embrace Mobile Technology, was a fascinating look into a mobile application which Glenn helped to created at Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW). Glen provided some statistics on the background of MLGW:

  • 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County
  • Division of City of Memphis government
  • Largest three-service public utility in the country
  • Provide electric, natural gas and water services to Shelby County, TN
  • Began using social media in early 2008 (blog) and Twitter in 2009
  • Introduced text message program in 2010
  • Introduced iPhone app in April 2011

Glen began to explain the history behind the mobile application. Glen explained that part of the motivation was to be where the customers are, and for his customers, this meant being able to provide their service on a mobile advice. Glen discussed the “texting” generation, but was also to clear that mobile crosses all generations, and mobile makes it very easy to disperse information, share resources and provide pertinent information during storms. The mobile app that Glen discussed includes;

  • Outage status
  • Payment arrangements
  • Bill due date & amount
  • Find payment location
  • Outage map
  • Important numbers
  • Energy conservation tips
  • Latest news
  • Quick links to social media feeds

Hildreth followed Glen, and provided some fascinating insights as to how mobile is improving the health of women, infant and children in the State of Texas. I highly encourage you to check out the archive session, as Hildreth and Glen both provided some great and practice tips on how to get started with mobile technology.

Hildreth mentioned the first step is gathering buy-in and approval. Hildreth also mentioned that upfront it is critical to define the ROI model for mobile projects, and thinking critically about the tangible cost savings and intangible benefits. She also identified that often it is easier to start a project with a small, dedicated team that has been invested in by the organization.

In Hildreth’s example, she used the model of Design, Prototype, Build. This model has many advantages, as it allows organizations to constantly think through challenges, uses and understand the user experience on the mobile application.

Hildreth closed out with some lessons learned from here experience, they were:

  • Content is everything
  • Process is key
  • Perfect vs. Quality

Again, I’d encourage you all to take a listen to the archived version, thanks again to Glen and Hidreth for taking part in GovLoop’s first virtual summit.

Here are some photos that show what the virtual show looked like, if you want to download the slides to the session, please visit the archive version.

Find more photos like this on GovLoop – Social Network for Government

This page is brought to you by the GovLoop Technology Solutions Council. The mission of this council is to provide you with information and resources to help improve government. Visit the GovLoop Technology Solutions Council to learn more.

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