As our country continues to face budget woes, it seems especially imperative for state and local governments to implement TechAmerica’s IT policy recommendations, covered last week by Sarah Rich of Government Technology. The first priority listed was for the public sector to, “Implement policies and actions that will increase collaboration and communication between the private sector and state and local government in all areas of technology acquisition, deployment and service delivery.”
We have already seen rapid adoption of innovative programs, like telepresence technology, being implemented by some government agencies, as it is critical for enhancing collaboration among agencies and departments and increasing efficiencies. The role of technology is changing – it is no longer a support role but a driving force to save costs, increase performance and enrich the workplace. With telepresence, high definition video and audio allow reduce travel-related costs, productivity, costs of downtime, all while creating a more collaborative environment that encourages innovation. The Department of Transportation in Alabama is a great example of how telepresence can increase productivity and reduce expenses, using the technology for everything from new hire trainings to external meetings. The Federal government is also adopting this innovative technology to help keep the Department of Defense running smoothly amidst the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, ensuring federal workers are still able to communicate in real time with the Pentagon offices.
We encourage state and local governments to review TechAmerica’s recommendations and as Michael Kerr, TechAmerica’s senior director of state and local government, so eloquently said, “We truly believe all state and local policy leaders must be considering ways to sharpen the arrows in their quiver and using innovation to enhance management practices and fiscal control.”
What other ways can government use technology to reduce costs and improve communication?