Is smarter government possible in times of economic uncertainty, rising costs and information overload? Yes.
They're challenges we read about every day, around the world: financial deficits, uncertainty from volatile markets and the growing complexity of providing even the most basic services. Even so, successful governments are finding ways to reorient their structures, information technology and policies to address the needs of their citizens and businesses.
The answer lies beyond temporary fixes such as cost cutting and tax increases. The common strategies for successful public governance involve insightful leadership and effective use of technology. Approaches that use analytics, shared services and collaboration enable real transformation that benefits the public and government alike.
When information can be analyzed and presented more effectively, the result is better decision making, reporting and insight. New collaboration tools enable governments to transform relationships with citizens, creating an environment where efficiency and management by performance are the norm.
Governments at all levels—municipal, provincial, national, transnational—are exemplifying the benefits of becoming e-governments. In Rio de Janeiro and Davao in the Philippines. dynamic leaders have made public safety a priority and encouraged the unification of multiple agencies in to create a safer environment. The United Kingdom and Singapore educate citizens about ways to obtain services through the most convenient and efficient channels.
As governments institute structural changes in the way agencies measure performance and deliver services, data analytics and new delivery modules such as shared services can help lead the way for more transformative efforts and a measurable return on investment and improved quality of life.
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Just as data has begun to move more fluidly between the parts of government, and between a government and its citizens, smarter governments are participating in new kinds of collaboration and partnership up and down the different strata of government, and even across borders and around the world.
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Unique solutions from collaborative platforms
In the past, unique technology would often be budgeted and created anew to replicate what might be a common service for many different departments of government, or even offices within departments. Today, common platforms and open standards are the basis for many of the unique iterations of smarter government already in evidence. Sometimes that's as simple as using social computing applications like Twitter to report the daily cash flow for the state of Rhode Island. Or it could be as complex as creating a virtual world for the training of a nation's intelligence agents.