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.”
Read More »
Tags: cloud, data center, State Local Government
I am drafting this blog on my laptop, sitting in the Embassy Suites lounge in Raleigh, North Carolina, enjoying the complimentary breakfast buffet. I share this not to disclose my breakfast habits, nor my whereabouts but to illustrate that we are relying more and more on mobile devices to keep us connected, both professionally and personally. In fact analysts predict that by the end of 2013, 80 percent of companies will allow BYOD (bring your own device) for employees.
As today’s workers embrace mobility, they have expectations that their experience outside of the office should mirror their experience inside the office. With mobility trends like telework and BYOD on the rise, it’s important that government organizations stay ahead of technology trends to better deliver their employees with the right tools that allow them to collaborate from anywhere at any time. Read More »
Tags: byod, collaboration, COOP, government, jabber, mobile collaboration, Mobile workforce, mobility, TelePresence, telework, video conferencing, WebEX
Great challenges can bring great opportunities to any business, and with the inevitability of cloud on the horizon, IT organizations will need to embrace this change. Taking the first, second or even third step can be scary, but the return on taking such risks will pay off so long as the IT organization champions the deployment.
Cisco itself has also had to face these risks of deploying cloud, and has already embarked on the private cloud (IaaS) journey —all the way from virtualizing the compute, network, and storage resources to integrating change management, and metering services for “pay as you use”.
Some of the challenges that we encountered typical that other IT organizations could face in cloud adoption were:
• Ensuring security. Each cloud solution has to be matched to appropriate security capabilities. The new capabilities may include centralized management (vs. trying to manage firewalls on ever-changing edges or trying to manage security on each endpoint), scalable multi-tenant architectures, real-time threat analysis and dynamic mitigation delivery.
Read More »
Tags: Cisco cloud, Cisco Partner, cloud, Cloud Computing, cloud services, government it, security
Chances are, you’ve heard this line or a variation thereof before: “Video conferencing improves collaboration and lowers costs for organizations around the world.” While this is true, for this blog, I want to focus on ways video is changing government by sharing the story of two government agencies that are using video in new and unique ways.
We frequently hear how important it is to “do more with less.” In the face of sequestrations and reduced traveling budgets, this is a reality, and agencies are turning to alternatives like video conferencing. Video technologies such as telepresence are streamlining government processes and increasing collaboration, all while cutting costs. Read More »
Tags: budget, collaboration, government, mobile collaboration, secure collaboration, sequestration, TelePresence, telework, travel reduction, video, video conferencing
In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.
As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)
There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.
1. Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.
This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.
2. Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.
Read More »
Tags: Busan, Cisco, city systems, cloud, Cloud Management, connectivity, government, IBSG, infrastructure, Intelligent Network, smart, Smart + Connected Communities, Smart City, Songdo