The traditional office is not what it used to be. I’m not referring to Mad Men, where smoking in the office was acceptable and having a cocktail in the middle of the day was the norm. I’m talking about when and where work gets done. For me personally, being part of an organization that embraces collaboration, I am able to work from home, the coffee shop or the airport terminal without compromising communication or efficiency.
The rise of mobility, video and other collaboration technologies is prompting government organizations to rethink the way they approach communications. As more agencies, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, embrace teleworking options they’ve found that their employees are happier and their workforce is more flexible and able to work around things like natural disasters or more commonly, a snowstorm.
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Tags: collaboration, dod, federal, SLED, State and Local Government, video conferncing
Collaboration technologies power a new way of working where everyone, everywhere can be more productive through face-to-face and instantaneous communication. In previous posts, we’ve discussed how VoIP, TelePresence and Mobile Collaboration are reshaping the government workspace. For those organizations that often forced to do more with less, flexibility in service models is essential to accessing these transformative technologies.
As we’ve seen in education, the move from on-premise service models to the cloud gives organizations the ability to deploy advanced collaboration services while minimizing the requirements of an upfront investment. But a hosted delivery model not only minimizes cost, it also increases efficiency and effectiveness, reduces the burden on IT staff and ensures access to the latest releases.. With the right deployment model government workers can access the collaboration tools they want, whenever they need them.
When the City of Charlotte, North Carolina was preparing to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention cloud was the easy choice. With Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) the city was able to integrate its contact call centers and deliver excellent caller experiences to citizens and visitors before and after the political convention. With Cisco HCS the city found a solution that scaled to meet their needs during a major event and continues to better serve its citizens. But the benefits of choosing cloud don’t end there. With cloud services the City of Charlotte has lowered the total cost of ownership for the contact centers saving the city more than $100,000 a year!
With that kind of financial and operational flexibility, it’s not a surprise that more agencies are turning to hosted solutions. Is your government organization ready to take advantage of the cloud?
Tags: cloud, Collaboration in the Cloud, federal government, HCS, Hosted Collaboration Solutions, local, state, TelePresence, video, voip, WebEX
My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:
1. Big Data (Smart City)
3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making
4. Mobility and broadband deployment
5. Cyber and network security
6. Cloud-based solutions
7. Legacy/modernization, RFP
8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)
9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)
10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)
What would you add or subtract?
I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.
Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:
These forums, and others, can provide essential context and information for governments looking to take charge of their economic development by harnessing technology and cloud capabilities – but as an enhancement to local wares (such as raw materials or railroads) that remain the backbone of cities and metropolitan areas. ICT has systematically increased productivity and supported economic growth across both developed and developing countries.
Connecting this railroad to a multisystem cloud network would allow it to transmit data to people and other machines, becoming observable, controllable, automated, and secure – and all achieved remotely, via cloud management.
Comprehensive digital network infrastructure can connect companies and people, increase productivity, and, perhaps most important, may be cheaper and more efficient than conventional, massive infrastructure, such as new roads. The great thing about ICT is that it breeds innovation. An investment in the network doesn’t just improve the public sector – the positive impacts spill over into education, healthcare, security, and so many other realms.
As the world becomes more connected, we are witnessing the emergence of “Big Data.” These are the mountains of data coming out of all these digital interactions, which can then be collected, sifted, mined, and analyzed to provide “raw” data material for new inventions across many industries.
The Internet of Things is already here. As more and more objects become connected to one another, they produce huge amounts of data. This information can be collected and analyzed to allow people to make better, more informed decisions. Sources: Cisco IBSG, 2006–2011; Cisco VNI, June 2011; Technorati; Radicati Group; IDC; The Economist; Apple; InformationWeek.
A transition to a more connected world is difficult. It profoundly affects everyone by challenging the status quo and creating exposure to new complex risks. But incorporating ICT into local governments and communities also offers the possibility of transforming the public sector, changing the role of government, and enabling citizens to be more actively involved in shaping their community. And ultimately, people need to be successful enough to generate taxes, create jobs, and generally contribute to a prosperous economy. I firmly believe that ICT and the cloud network can help accomplish this. What are your thoughts?
And stay tuned to the Cisco Government blog for the next installment of the cloud for local government blog series or click here to register and reserve your copy of the complete compilation of the blog series, including this blog as well as a variety of cloud resources, which will be available in May
Tags: #economic growth, Big Data, CIO, CIO concerns, Cisco, cloud, cloud infrastructure, Cloud Management, economy, government, IBSG, ICT, Information and Communications Technology, network, network infrastructure, Smart City, urban economy
Increasing population and growing citizen expectations, all in the shadow of budget constraints, are causing government agencies around the world to look to the cloud to help enable them to do more with less.
Cloud solutions for government not only help enable a more streamlined, productive workforce, but they empower government agencies to meet rising citizen expectations and free up resources for investment in other mission-critical areas.
In India, this rises to a whole new level. The government of India has launched GI Cloud, which is a national cloud initiative that will enable government at various levels to leverage cloud computing for efficient delivery of e-governance services.
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Tags: cloud, GI cloud, government, india, State Local Government
By Brenda Germundson and Kerry Best
Can local governments improve the overall citizen experience, and at the same time increase workforce productivity? Yes, and cities are doing it now. Providing on-demand access to innovative services, whenever and wherever, opens up a whole new world to local government.
“We had a hard time meeting constituent and customer expectations,” says Jorge Pazos, chief information officer, City of Melrose. “Melrose residents go home, and on the train they can open up their iPad, they can program what’s going to be on their DVR that night, they can rearrange their Netflix queue, do banking, and pay bills, and then they come to municipal government, and it was like going back to the 1970s.”
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Tags: cloud, data center, State Local Government