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Smarter Government

A smarter approach to economic development

Using technology to transform economies

Smarter government made with IBM

Vibrant economies are built on insight

Imagine that your business served not just a dozen, a couple hundred or even thousands of bosses, but millions and even billions of them. That is the case around the globe, from local councils to central government agencies.

From national security to employment programs to metropolitan traffic congestion, all these responsibilities are served by a larger, more encompassing mission: creating economic vitality.

Economic vitality is what makes a nation, a region or a city a compelling place to live, work and do business. It’s a collaborative plan for long-term, sustainable growth ushered in by a convergence that includes big data and analytics, mobile, cloud and social technologies.

For the people, by the people, powered by data

As noted by IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty, “Data promises to be for the twenty-first century what steam power was for the eighteenth, electricity for the nineteenth and fossil fuels for twentieth—that is, the creator of enormous wealth and progress.”1

Big data is an even bigger opportunity to inform discussions on policy and planning. For example, Portland, Oregon, USA has created a system-thinking tool to support high-level planning. Using data and analytics, the tool enables policy makers and stakeholders to learn how their city works as an interconnected system of system, exploring interactive visual maps and simulating macro-level policy options.2

Authorities in Montpellier, France want to establish a new relationship with citizens by enabling each individual to use digital technology to create and submit near-real-time data that will help authorities to improve urban services. Leaders hope to do more than make services efficient—they hope that they will become more accountable and more open to citizens.3

Congestion can cost an economy as much as 4% of itss GDP.

Government in the cloud

Governments and public agencies are under pressure to reduce costs, optimize energy usage and reduce the space requirements of their data centers. They can significantly reduce capital and operational costs through IT initiatives such as virtualizing servers, standardizing images and applications, consolidating data centers and moving to a security-rich cloud environment.

For example, inefficiency and government waste are enormous problems that affect all 1,600 local governments in New York State. IBM Research and SCA are partnering to create a shared service cloud for them. This cloud model is predicted to eliminate 25 percent of government’s IT budget by streamlining applications and by connecting siloed municipalities.

A provincial government in Spain teamed with IBM to increase the quality of current citizen services, as well as introduce new needed services, without associated increased costs—allowing funds to be invested in other areas to benefit citizens. And on the other side of the world, the city of Wuxi in China worked with IBM to create a cloud computing center at the Wuxi New District iPark, providing low-cost access to enterprise applications and market analytics tools for small companies located on site.

Social citizens, smarter government

Industry estimates that by 2032, Indian cities will have to accommodate 250M to 300M more people than they do today. Thant's the equivalent of 11 New Delhi's.
In an era where over-sharing is common practice, municipal agencies have an unprecedented opportunity to communicate with and learn from its citizenry. For example, drivers in five major Canadian cities who are stressed about their commutes often cope by tweeting about it, according to the IBM Social Sentiment Index.4 The index pulls meaning from the never-ending flood of social media messages that now wash over Canadians continuously. This kind of social capability is based on sophisticated analytics technologies that can help cities around the world better measure and understand public opinions on key city issues and services such as public transportation or education.

Transforming with technologies

No longer are citizens merely the passive recipients of government services. Supported by technology that provides actors with new improved insight and analytics for effective collaboration and action, each government body can empower citizens, communities and businesses to play an active role in shaping and improving service delivery. By placing the users (such as citizens, businesses and other stakeholders) at the center of how we shape our cities, regions and countries, smart solutions radically alter the ability of governments to realize their economic, social and environmental objectives.

Innovation Explanations


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Smarter buildings tell us how to reduce their energy use. Three experts discuss the ways.

Forward thinkers

  • Nicole Gardner

    Nicole Gardner
    Vice President and Global Industry Leader, Social Services and Government, Healthcare
    Nicole leads a worldwide team who help policy makers and delivery organizations improve outcomes and increase efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Eric-Mark Huitema

    Eric-Mark Huitema
    Global solution sales manager: Smarter Transportation
    Eric is a leader in Intelligent Transportation Systems

  • Paul Dommel

    Paul Dommel
    Paul is a leader for the global government industry with a focus on health and human services.

Smarter Government stories