White Paper | Connected Government in a Connected World
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  • 1. Connected Government in a Connected WorldThe rising tide of technology is carrying the world commerce and governments—national,regional, and local—into new and uncharted territories. What this means in today’s era of cloudcomputing, open data, and the consumerization of IT is that the dynamics between governmentsand users of public services are transforming. Critical issues such as service delivery, efficiency,transparency, and quality of service are under greater stress than ever before in light of higheruser expectations. As technology is evolving, the associated costs and deployment risks aredeclining while capabilities continue to advance, making it easier and less expensive forgovernments at all economic levels to leverage technology and lay out new modern services.However, all governments are grappling with the challenges of this ever more connected world.With the increasing amount of data governments manage come complex responsibilitiesregarding how that information is accessed, stored, and used—including sovereignty, security,and privacy. As they move to embrace the advantages afforded by new technology, governmentsmust first address how they can leverage technology to meet the above challenges—in a waythat adheres to standards of compliance and security.According to Gartner1, “technology trends and the pressure for financial sustainability will leadgovernment organizations toward greater levels of choice in how technology is sourced acrosstheir entire value chain. Gartner offers an analysis, key findings, and recommendations forgovernment CIOs and key IT leaders."At Microsoft, we see these issues as dimensions of a single theme: Connection. Connectinggovernment to citizens, connecting information to government workers, and connectinggovernment agencies together—all in the interest of achieving higher levels of service, efficiency,and accountability for this and the next generation of citizens. Governments that transformconnections to information and people can create a real impact for better government.1 DiMaio, Andrea, “The Key to Smart Government Is Choice,” Gartner Industry Research, June 20, 2011(ID:G00213803). 1
  • 2. Connected Citizens for Improved Service Delivery and EngagementThe explosion of smarter devices and pervasive Internet services means many consumers havenew levels of access to information and methods to connect with government services and fellowcitizens. These always-on, technology natives include a younger generation of tomorrow’s activecitizens who have high expectations of their government agencies—such as on-demand serviceswith native integration to social media and smart devices. The appetite for governmentinformation is now such that social tools and open data applications, such as those enabled bythe cloud, are often the only viable solution to provide these richer, and more personalizedexperiences. The result is better served and more engaged citizens.Cloud Solution Promotes a Cleaner London in Build Up to Olympic GamesToday the citizens of London, England, can report and comment on environmental issues through acloud-enabled Microsoft® Solution built around Windows Azure®. This reduces the cost andmassively expands the availability of a critical application. The combination of the transactionaland social aspects of a service has led this solution to be adopted by the city in their preparation forthe 2012 Olympic Games under the brand “Love Clean London.”Connected Workers Enabled by a Modernized WorkplaceYears ago, the advent of personal computing created a disruptive effect on technology in theenterprise. Today, consumerization of IT is having the same effect on government agencies.Gartner coined the phrase “Employee-Centric Government”2 to describe the challenge ofintegrating information around government employees, just as governments strive to do for theircitizens. This involves not just connecting applications but also connecting knowledge—fromdata sharing to social connections—as agencies take advantage of technologies that can helpfoster a culture change toward collective knowledge and expertise through empowerment.German State Government Increases Productivity 66 Percent with Unified InterfaceThe state of Hesse in Germany employs 90,000 workers and supports an infrastructure of 1,800servers and 60,000 computers. Employees were using more than 400 applications with differentuser interfaces and no standard mechanism for exchanging common data between standardapplications and customized software. Data had to be entered multiple times. The governmentsolved this problem by using a partner solution that leverages Microsoft Biztalk Server andMicrosoft Office to connect these different applications—improving case processing productivity by2 DiMaio, Andrea, “Why Government 2.0 Is Not Government 1.1” March 8, 2011. 2
  • 3. 66 per cent, as documented in a study by the German Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft undOrganisation (IAO).Connected Information for Improved Insight and AccountabilityWhile providing technology to better support citizens and workers is a significant step forwardthere still remains the challenge of how to connect information across government agencies.Creating a real impact in this effort is critical, recognizing that successful government operationsdepend on having the right information, in the right format, across organizational andtechnological boundaries in order to improve efficiency, promote transparency, and enablebusiness insight. This is especially true as some seek to engage with non-government orvoluntary sector organizations to reduce costs and improve agility. Such models have to rely onrobust, scalable technology such as the cloud to operate effectively, because without them thebest intentions can be undermined by simple breakdowns in collaboration and communication.European Environment Agency’s Pioneering Online Tools Bring Revolutionary Data toCitizensAn agency of the European Union, the European Environment Agency (EEA) provides policy makersand the general public with independent and reliable information on the environment. The agencyis working to raise environmental awareness across Europe by delivering easy-to-understandinformation about environmental issues such as water and air quality. Working with Microsoft, theEEA developed the Eye on Earth platform, based on the Windows Azure cloud services operatingsystem. Users can view water or air quality from the 32 member countries of the EEA using high-definition Microsoft® Bing® maps. The EEA has also launched the Environmental Atlas of Europe,which features first-hand, eyewitness stories about climate change.Connected Cities for Smarter Living EnvironmentsCities of all sizes and complexities are the hub of local economic development, and many areexperiencing a surge of citizens moving from the country to towns. As such, there is a concurrentneed to make cities smarter: resources like water, space, energy and clean air are scarce and needto be used with greater efficacy. Information and communication technology (ICT) provides acatalyst to help cities transform to smart cities. Cities and metropolitan areas can leverage ICT tomanage urban congestion, maximize energy efficiency, enhance public security, allocateresources based on real-time evidence, and educate the citizenry through remote learning. As aresult, city authorities can create more livable and economically viable communities for thecitizens and businesses they serve. 3
  • 4. City of Malmö Gains Full Benefits from IT Services*The multicultural city of Malmö is the third most populated city in Sweden. It employsapproximately 19,500 people, including a 10-people strong IT team. Together, they serve300,000 citizens who have made this city, with its modern architecture, parks, beach, growingbusinesses, and flourishing university, their home. In 2010, the city recognized a need to makethe services it provided more compatible with each other and IT more aligned with theorganization’s business objectives. Together with Microsoft, the city conducted a comprehensiveanalysis of their business objectives and existing IT to determine an IT strategy that could helpthe city achieve desired outcome. Business objectives, such as continuing to be an attractive cityto do business in and improving levels of environmental sustainability, were linked to the existingIT strategies to reveal what needed to be invested in and why.*This case study is available only in Swedish.Changes Sweep across Today’s Technology LandscapeConsumerization of ITAs mobile devices and social computing continue to improve citizens’ personal lives, peoplenaturally expect this technology to provide the same advantages at work. Many governmentemployees want to use consumer devices and social networking for work-related interactions.According to a recent IDC study, between a third to more than half of devices (including laptops,mobile phones, and smart phones) used in the workplace are used for both work and personalpurposes. IDC believes consumerization will be an unstoppable trend over the next five years; itfollows that government IT managers must make key decisions and adopt a coherent strategy inorder to best deal with the impact of this trend.Nitobi Harnesses the Power of Open Government Data with VanGuideNitobi Inc. is a developer of mobile and rich Internet applications for the enterprise in Vancouver,Canada. The developer wanted to create an application using open government data in a way thatmakes data more compelling and personable for citizens. Nitobi used the Microsoft® OpenGovernment Data Initiative together with Vancouver’s open data and the Windows Azure platformto enable citizens to access government data easily and quickly via the VanGuide mobile and web-based application. 4
  • 5. Computing in the CloudWith its ability to reduce IT costs, increase agility, reduce the need for physical IT resources, andhelp organizations stay at the forefront of technology, cloud computing is a hot topic at all levelsof government. IDC recently predicted that “Cloud computing will continue to reshape the ITlandscape over the next five years as spending on public IT cloud services expands at acompound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6 percent from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $72.9 billionin 2015.”3 Cloud computing gives governments the ability to deploy service channels with as littleor as much power from private, public, or community clouds as they need. This flexibility andchoice mean not only tremendous cost savings and more efficient use of resources, but they alsoprovide governments and political officials with more flexibility in the ways that they accessinformation.City Government Improves Service Offerings, Cuts Costs with Cloud Services SolutionThe city of Miami, Florida, wanted to develop an online application to record, track, and report onnonemergency incidents. However, the application’s sophisticated mapping technology wouldrequire significant computing resources. Further constrained by long hardware-procurement cycles,the city needed a cost-effective, scalable solution that would maximize its available resources.Miami developed a 311 application on the Windows Azure platform, taking advantage of scalablestorage, processing power, and hosting provided by Microsoft. The city reduced IT costs, improvedcitizen services, and delivered those services faster. It now relies on a [cloud-based] cost-effectivedisaster-recovery model—an important benefit in this hurricane-prone region.Cloud Power Delivers New OpportunitiesTechnology advances have opened new possibilities and raised expectations about governments’role and how governments should serve communities. These possibilities include: Cloud computing as a viable ICT provisioning model and a way to reduce costs and deliver new services. Social media to enhance and improve levels of participation and citizen satisfaction with services. Open data and government data stores to allow much wider access to publishing and distributing public information.3Nathan Eddy, “IT Cloud Services Spending to Reach $72.9 Billion in 2015: IDC Report,” Midmarket News,eWEEK, June 20, 2011 (http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/IT-Cloud-Services-Spending-to-Reach-729-Billion-in-2015-IDC-Report-547901/). 5
  • 6. By harnessing new technologies, governments can deliver better experiences to communities—without escalating costs. As this transformation becomes more federated and processes crossmany boundaries—from on-premises technology platforms to web services and cloudresources—a new set of possibilities emerge.The cloud provides an exciting platform to develop new applications and new ways to deliverservices and information to communities. At Microsoft, we have already seen various levels ofgovernment take advantage of the power of open data—placing information and servicesdirectly into the hands of citizens. Examples include: Citizen Services—In the United Kingdom, www.lovelewisham.org has become a shining example of an open citizen-driven service. Initially designed for one council, this is now being more widely adopted under the name LoveCleanStreets. This model has inspired many similar cloud-based examples that extend existing 311 systems. Open Data Solutions—Services such as www.recovery.gov and www.data.gov leverage the Windows Azure Data Market at a national level in the United States. At the city level, examples such as Vancouver Open Data (Canada) allow wider access to public information for third-party developers to create tools and useful applications, reducing agency costs and resources. Online Productivity Tools—In many instances, government agencies are consuming cloud services, such as Microsoft® Office365 (formerly Microsoft® BPOS), extending collaboration capabilities to their staff without the capital investment. Agencies in the state of California and in New York City as well as London, England, and Europe are achieving economies of scale, lowering costs by up to 40 percent. (See the city of Carlsbad, California, case study.)The evolution from on-premises to the cloud means governments can change from a capitalinvestment model to an IT services consumption model. For large central governments, the cloudoffers the possibility to consolidate on a previously unheard-of scale and to use the cloud’sdynamic capacity to provide resources instantly to accommodate peaks in demand. For smalleragencies, the cloud provides ready access to services and the ability to pay only for what theyconsume—removing the traditionally capital-intensive barriers to acquire new service capacity.Thus, the cloud has the potential to level the capabilities of agencies, independent of their scale,and to help enable small agencies to leverage the same ICT capacity as their larger peers.These examples represent the first innovations in what may be the most significant technologytransformation yet seen. On the other hand, the real world of today’s technology platformsrepresents the investment of generations and will not be displaced overnight; indeed, the key tosuccessfully using the cloud is based on combining the new capabilities with existing legacysystems that hold data vital to the end user’s experience. 6
  • 7. Connected Government FrameworkThe advantages of today’s technology trends are undeniable: consumerization enables people toshare rich insightful information more widely than ever before. Cloud computing delivers accessto massive computing resources in a scalable and cost-effective manner, and relievesgovernments of day-to-day IT management. Microsoft supports these two trends with tools tohelp government agencies improve collaboration and provide widespread access to informationfor their workers and their citizens. These tools can fuel better decision making, deeper insights,heightened accountability, and the delivery of more personalized services. As a result,governments can connect citizens and workers with services, information, and each other tojointly build a better future.The Microsoft® Connected Government Framework uses a foundation of interoperability andstandards embedded in Microsoft products to provide a platform for governments to betterserve and engage their citizens, modernize the government to be more efficient and effective,and help governments be more open and transparent. The Framework aims to facilitate theconversation between Political Decision Makers and the IT department, showing the way toleverage infrastructure investment and make smart steps for efficient policy changes. It consistsof four layers: Layer 1: Government outcomes and aspirations—key policy goals and objectives, such as: • Improved services and quality of life • Economic prosperity and sustainability • Safe and healthy communities Layer 2: Government Services—the people and processes required to implement the agency services that are citizen-facing, policy, planning, or resource management. Layer 3: Solution Areas—Microsoft and partner solutions that fill a particular role in: • Service Delivery and Engagement • Workplace Modernization • Insight and Accountability • Partner-delivered solutions Layer 4: ICT infrastructure—the Microsoft suite of products, from Microsoft Office to Windows Server® to Windows Azure in the cloud and more, that enable government solutions: • Core infrastructure • Business productivity • Application platformThese four layers are designed to align with the government agency’s business and technologyarchitecture. 7
  • 8. To help visualize scenarios, Microsoft provides an online demonstration network that showcasesexamples of government solutions in action and helps to envision what is possible. These solutiondemonstrations were created by Microsoft partners who have deep knowledge and expertise inthe business of government and have worked closely with Microsoft to create a solution thatcaptures the imagination.Here’s what industry analysts are saying and customers are experiencing in three main areas ofemphasis for Microsoft Connected Government:Government Service Delivery and EngagementMicrosoft solutions are designed to combine personal citizen information with cloud-sourceddata and services.“Interoperability is literally the hinge on a door that opens a completely new era of interactionbetween government agencies and the citizens they serve. Through our [Microsoft and HP]partnership, agencies can provide citizens with an integrated, single point of access for governmentservices while at the same time obtain an integrated view of the data they need to deliver thoseservices more efficiently and cost-effectively.”—Enrique Barkey, Worldwide Director of Civilian Agency Solutions, HPThe City of Milan is “Easier” Thanks to Citizen Relationship Management PlatformThe contact center created by the city of Milan, Italy, receives almost two million calls per year. Inorder to streamline call processing and deliver better municipal services, the city set up a dedicatedphone number for city services and deployed Microsoft Dynamics® CRM as part of the Microsoft®Citizen Service Platform solution. The system is the first of its kind in Italy, and it simplifiesrelationships between local government and city service users. The City of Milan can now bettertrack service requests, plan assistance interventions, cope with internal production peaks, eliminatequeues at front offices, and reduce costs. 8
  • 9. Government Workplace ModernizationMicrosoft solutions aim to improve information workers’ productivity through innovativetechnologies and optimized process management.“...In order to meet evolving citizen demand, governments must shift from a citizen-centric to anemployee-centric paradigm, which depends on how government employees change the way theywork and collaborate inside and outside government.”—Gartner, Inc., “Why Government 2.0 Is Not Government 1.1,” March 2011 (G00210927)City Government in the US Uses Online Services for Messaging, Saves 40 Percent AnnuallyIn California, the city of Carlsbad employs 1,100 people who rely on up-to-date technology to helpthem serve more than 100,000 local citizens. The city’s workforce devotes a lot of time to team-based projects that require efficient communication and collaboration tools, yet the city had anaging email service and no collaboration solution. Faced with stringent budget limitations, the citychose a Microsoft® Online Services solution that provides hosted communication and collaborationservices. The new solution delivers the security and functionality the city needs for desktop andmobile email, online collaboration tools, and web conferencing. In these tough economic times,Carlsbad is saving approximately40 percent annually opting for a hosted solution that provides more productivity-enhancing toolsfor its workforce compared to an on-premises solution.Government Insight and AccountabilityMicrosoft solutions transform governments through state-of-the-art technologies necessary tohelp ensure compliance with laws and regulations, as well as become a more open andtransparent government.“It’s nearly impossible for agencies to make sense of disparate silos of information. If combined,however, the data could dramatically improve decision making and save money and resources.”—Information Week Government Analytics Report, “Government 2.0: Technology LeadershipRedefined,” September 2009 9
  • 10. Mexican Statistics Agency Coordinates Data Collection Using Collaboration PortalWhen the Mexican Congress passed legislation in 2008, the Instituto Nacional de Estadística yGeografía (INEGI) became an autonomous agency, responsible for coordinating and managing theproduction of statistical and geographic information about the country, including populationfigures, economic data, and geographical facts. Because this information is produced by severaldifferent governmental agencies, it was necessary for INEGI to create a way to collaborate andcoordinate with these other agencies. Working with a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, INEGI usedMicrosoft® SharePoint® Server 2010 to create a collaboration portal in just two months. The portalprovides an easy way for Mexican governmental agencies to interact and collaborate on commonprojects that affect the way statistical information is gathered, processed, and published.Microsoft Supports Interoperability and StandardsThe evolution from existing technology to cloud computing is built on existing standards.Companies, research institutions, and government programs are evolving and adapting existingtechnologies to the cloud computing pattern.At Microsoft, we are focusing on adding value through enhancements to our core technologiesand working to help ensure that all the services in our cloud can be accessed via open protocolsand data formats from any operating system or programming language. Furthermore, we aresupporting a variety of other languages, run-times, web servers, databases, and so forth on ourcloud platforms, just as we do today on-premises. We want to bring our popular Windows®platform to cloud application development, while increasing openness and interoperability tomeet the needs of our customers.Microsoft continues to enhance its products with new capabilities that can help reduce the costof running a mixed IT environment. For example, the Windows Azure platform is an open, webaddressable platform that supports a host of Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages, openprotocols, popular standards, and technologies. This support enables Microsoft partners andcustomers to develop and deploy services quickly and easily by capitalizing on the same skill sets,development tool investments, and knowledge.Breadth of Technology PlatformThe breadth of the Microsoft platform spans business and consumer applications—fromdeveloper technologies and business computing technologies to the home office to consumertechnologies—including games. This breadth of platform provides governments the capability toreach citizens and users across multiple devices in a very consistent way. Platform choice is keyfor governments doing business on the web; it will have a direct impact on how well they cantake advantage of new opportunities moving forward. 10
  • 11. Microsoft Understands the CloudGovernments’ ability to deploy service channels with as little or as much power from private,public, or community clouds as they need is what gives the Microsoft cloud story its uniquepower. Whether in the cloud or on-premises, Microsoft understands both worlds. With a diverseportfolio of solutions for private, public, or community clouds, Microsoft and governmentagencies can partner to architect a unique strategy to optimize citizen service delivery, as wellprovide technology that will be fast to adopt and easy to configure. Microsoft can also work withgovernments to understand how the incorporation of the cloud affects their budgets, as well asways to financially maximize their cloud investments.A Strong Partner EcosystemFor virtually all Microsoft products, there is a broad, global ecosystem of diverse and specializedpartners who can build value-added solutions to government specifications (when necessary) ontop of Microsoft products and then work with government internal IT teams to deploy thesesolutions. The Microsoft public sector partner ecosystem boasts an extraordinary quality ofproducts, solutions, services, and expertise.ConclusionWhile delivering an expansive choice of platforms and scenarios, Microsoft offers a simple visionof what ICT can do to help governments promote engagement, efficiency, and insight: In anincreasingly connected world, governments need to provide information that follows the user—be it a citizen, worker, or politician. The Microsoft Connected Government strategy helps enablebetter service, greater productivity, and deeper insights—all in an effort to provide moreresponsible, efficient, and transparent services.Governments continue to evolve with the changing dynamics between government entities andusers of public services. By connecting systems, processes, and people, governments not onlybetter serve and engage their citizens—they help make the business of government moretransparent and accountable to its constituents and modernize the government workplace itself,thus creating a real impact for better government.© 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Bing, BizTalk, Microsoft Dynamics, SharePoint, Windows, WindowsAzure, and Windows Server are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. 11