I.T. and the Social Good


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I gave this talk to the South Carolina IT Director's Association in Columbia, SC, on Sept. 14, 2009.

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  • IT can help cash-strapped state agencies fulfill their missions. Dilemma: Tax revenues are down and services are being cut. IT could help, but IT’s budget is being cut too. Imperative: Government agencies have got to move to a lighter capital model for IT and take advantage of new tools for offering services to citizens at a lower cost.
  • Wall St. Journal two weeks ago reported that many states are in such dire straits financially that they’re having to shut down for a day at a time to save money. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125202235182685075.html
  • Across the country, state workers are being furloughed or laid off. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125202235182685075.html
  • I’m sure this is one list you all are happy not to be on: These states all have budget gaps of more than a billion dollars! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125202235182685075.html
  • In an op-ed piece in the Wall St. Journal on Sept. 3, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said that the prospects looking ahead aren’t any better; that the reduction in tax revenues appears to be a permanent condition that will require a “reset” in state government. There’s no doubt about it, some fundamental changes have to take place, and IT can help. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574390603114939642.html
  • There are both short and long-term actions government entities have to make. And by the way, this is no different from what the private sector is going through. Organizations have just gotten too expensive to run. Fortunately there’s a lot IT can do to help.
  • In most organizations, IT has developed in a patchwork fashion. That’s not because CIOs didn’t have a plan; it’s because they didn’t have the right tools. IT has evolved at a tremendous pace in the past 20 years. Organizations adopted new tools with new capabilities as they came along. These had to be stitched together with other systems, and the result in most businesses and government agencies is an overly complex, overly expensive, hard to manage mess.
  • Thanks to the recession, businesses of all sizes are tackling this now. Accenture model: Rapid cost takeout, optimize current operations, restructure/redesign for the future Quick wins: Renogiate contracts, use power management, print services, etc. Optimize current operations: Consolidate, rationalize, simplify, virtualize Restructure Shared services Cloud computing “ Public” infrastructure
  • Cloud = the dynamic provisioning of IT capabilities from third parties over a network (Accenture) Or a computing paradigm where services and data reside in shared resources in scalable data centers, and those services and data are accessible by any authenticated device over the Internet. (Intel) Benefits: A low cost of entry: You don’t need to buy servers or configure software; you just turn it on. This is increasingly important as orgs shift to a lower capital model for IT. Variable capacity: You can scale capability up and down as needed and only pay for what you use. Executives increasingly believe services should be bought by the drink – and that this is now possible. Data and application portability: Employees – and citizens – can access the applications and data they need from any device, anywhere. Risks, particularly around data protection, are unclear; that’s why early adopters are starting with low-impact applicationsand proceeding with caution.
  • Intel: A strategy of growing the cloud from the inside out delivers many of the benefits of cloud computing and positions us to utilize external clouds over time. They expect to selectively migrate services to external clouds as supplier offerings mature and they learn how to manage the legal barriers and other obstacles. Some companies and government entities will operate private clouds offering services to their business units or agencies and charging based on use. http://download.intel.com/it/pdf/320566.pdf
  • State-run “private” clouds are a great option. In August, Utah announced that it was preparing a cloud offering of hosted e-mail and web applications for cities and counties within the state. http://www.govtech.com/gt/714321
  • North Carolina’s Office of Information Technology Services provides quality assurance and testing tools to agencies for a fee through a Web-based SaaS delivery model.The SQA software is owned by ITS, and state agencies rent it to test their own applications. According to Public CIO, the state saved ~ $30 million in upfront costs. Costs to operate/administer? http://www.govtech.com/pcio/articles/693860
  • Preliminary steps for large organizations to become cloud-ready: Consolidate data centers, virtualize servers, storage and desktops. Start with an e-mail pilot or non-mission-critical app. It’s easier for smaller organizations to jump into some kind of cloud computing, and software as a service is further along than infrastructure offerings. While 29% of companies in a variety of industries and of various sizes are currently using some degree of software as a service, only 5% of large companies in a separate study had used cloud computing for infrastructure. CIO Cloud Computing Survey, June 2009 Forrester’s The State Of Emerging Enterprise Hardware Trends: 2008 To 2009
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JZus5bvC3M
  • This movement is not going to be without its pain and disruption. Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. govt’s CTO, recently said [SEE QUOTE]. He went on to say: “ In the old days, an agency might have to adopt a commercial software package and spend $8 or $9 for every $1 spent on the actual license. Increasingly, new platforms are emerging based on the re-use of intellectual property.” No wonder Balmer looks like he wants to crush something. Need to keep focus on your organization’s mission and priorities – but make no mistake, there will be big forces at work to slow this down. Don’t let it http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/08/24/federal-government-mulls-web-20/
  • IT can help lower business operating costs in a variety of ways: staff productivity increasing the efficiency of core business processes. In government, the area that has gotten the most focus in the past 3 or 4 years has been in delivering services to citizens online.
  • South Carolina and many other states let citizens renew drivers’ licenses and hunting and fishing licenses as well as register their business or order birth and death certificates online.
  • States’ departments of parks and tourism are doing some great things, and that includes South Carolina’s, which not only has a colorful, engaging and feature-rich web site….
  • it also has a strong presences on Facebook, with over 6,000 fans who interact with the site by posting comments and photos of their own experiences with the parks
  • I also like Arkansas’ site. They give visitors plenty of ideas and information – and gorgeous pictures – plus visitors can tour and reserve campsites, cabins and lodge rooms online.
  • Like South Carolina, Arkansas has a robust Facebook fan page - and they are active in Twitter as well. All of these online presences reinforce and support each other. A key message here: you can’t count on your constituents coming to you; you also have to have a presence where they spend their time.
  • The LA Fire Dept. was one of the first government entities to put Tiwtter to good use beginning over two years ago.
  • They provide citizens with updates on actives fires and other call-outs.
  • Widgets are another tool states are experimenting with: Virginia offers widgets that people can embed in their own web sites for everything from emergency services to news feeds to lottery results Emergency services Online services News feed Traffic Conditions YouTube Podcasts Lottery results State parks and more
  • California DMV using YouTube for driving videos
  • But the benefits states have seen from these efforts have been mixed. There’s been a lot of experimentation without enough discipline. According to McKinsey, progress in eGovernment has plateaued over the past few years, with agencies not realizing the benefits they expected. Their research shows that three obstacles have limited the impact of e-government efforts: Ineffective governance leads to inefficiency, redundancy, higher costs and a lack of accountability. One US agency had more than 100 internal Web sites alongside dozens of external sites, as well as multiple tools and platforms to maintain them. Governments rarely prioritize Web capabilities and have few experts in Web design, marketing or analytics. Figuring out how to get your message out effectively is not a traditional IT skill. [talk about 3 rd bullet point later] http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Public_Sector/Management/E-government_20_2408
  • The call for better governance is obvious. One US agency cited in the McKnsey article had more than 100 internal Web sites alongside dozens of external sites, as well as multiple tools and platforms to maintain them. Scale may be different, but the problem is not unique. Solution: These efforts have to be owned by the line of business, but they’ll often be led by IT. This creates intersting challenges for you. Consolidated portfolio with a centralized view of costs and benefits. Clear ownership will drive accountability for user adoption rates and costs. Specific business goals should be agreed upon up front so they can drive the approach taken.
  • Most state agencies don’t have the money to develop a large team for this work, so the state as a whole should consider building and sharing a a small interdisciplinary team of highly skilled Web specialists. Capabilities should include …
  • One state that’s been recognized for its excellence is Utah. Utah.gov received first place in the 2009 Best of the Web competition, sponsored by the Center for Digital Government. It also won in 2003 and 2007, and it ranked first in the Center for Digital Government's 2008 Digital States Survey. According to Government Technology, Utah.gov provides more than 860 online state government services. New features include location awareness, a new multimedia portal, Web 2.0 services, a data portal, forms search capabilities, and mobile applications. Closing state offices can be a hardship or not for citizens. Utah closes on Fridays and still provides citizens the services they need.
  • http://www.govtech.com/gt/412171
  • "It's not about just putting a bunch of stuff online. You really need to work with the business agencies to determine what you're trying to accomplish. If the business really drives the process and sees value in providing a service, then you get a much better adoption rate."
  • “ My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration . Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Transparency_and_Open_Government/
  • In June, Fed CIO Vivek Kundra responded by providing open access to "useful and unfiltered" government data. Data.gov uses an open architecture to make federal agency data available in multiple formats. The goal is to expose more than 100,000 data sets to public scrutiny but, so far, the site is populated by about 100 sources of information, according to some sources. In his blog, Kundra wrote: [SEE QUOTE] A number of states have heard the message coming from Washington and are following suit. http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/06/08/data-transparency-via-datagov/#TB_inline?height=220&width=370&inlineId=tb_external#TB_inline?height=220&width=370&inlineId=tb_external
  • Donald Kettl, a professor and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, refers to the old model of government as "vending machine government." We pay our taxes and get back services. Tim O’Reilly defined the alternate model that people are talking about today as being one in which, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, "every man … feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day." In this model, government is a convener and an enabler--ultimately, it is a vehicle for coordinating the collective action of citizens. I’m not sure this is what Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels had in mind when he spoke of a reset in government – but I do believe it’s part of the story. Governement has to get smaller, and it can do that in 3 ways: By becoming more efficient – downsizing what it does By moving services online -- effectively And by sharing the work of governing with the people PLAY US NOW CLIP http://www.usnowfilm.com/
  • Journal of Social Computing ran a column by Steve Radick, 20 Theses for Govt. 2.0. Here are a few, with some amendments Your agency is not unique. You do not work in a place that just can't just use social media because your data is too sensitive. You do not work in an environment where social media will never work. [me: run tests] Younger employees are not necessarily any more knowledgeable about social media than older employees. If you can’t afford to hire outside social media "consultants," find the people in your organization who are actively using social media and who are very passionate about it. They are there. Mistakes can and will be made (a lot). Stop trying to create safeguards to eliminate the possibility of mistakes and instead concentrate on how to deal with them when they are made. Information security is a very real and valid concern. Do NOT take this lightly. [me: but don’t let it stop you] Policies are not written in stone. With justification, passion, and knowledge, policies and rules can and should be changed. Sometimes it's as easy as asking, but other times will require a knockdown, drag-out fight. Both are important. http://socialcomputingjournal.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=856
  • An article in last week’s New York Times raised some troubling questions about how this is playing out so far. The federal govt’s first major effort to solicit citizens’ policy ideas on the Internet and then let them vote on one another’s proposals had some dismaying results. First the good news: 44,000 proposals and 1.4 million votes for those proposals Now the not-so-good news: the highest-ranking idea was to legalize marijuana Top tech idea: Legalizing online poker -- twice as popular as nationwide Wi-Fi. Personally, I think we both are and aren’t good enough. These first forays aren’t surprising -- it’s a novelty, people aren’t used to being consulted on major issues. It will take time. But clearly we must be thoughtful about just what this new way of governing looks like and how it works.
  • You all are the enablers. [GO THRU BULLETS]
  • http://www.ctg.albany.edu/
  • http://www.munigov.org/ MuniGov 2.0 is a coalition of federal/state/local/municipal and international governments focused on exploring the use and principles of Web 2.0 in an effort to improve citizen services and communication via technology. We have created this site and its accompanying documents as resources, best practices and the start of a community of like-minded peers who have a common interest in the concepts of 2.0 as they could and do apply to local government.  The pages of this site are designed to put you in touch directly with the theories and practice of 2.0 in government and the people who are pushing the envelope in each sub-category or technology.
  • http://www.govloop.com/
  • http://govtwit.com/ About GovTwit - the Government Twitter Directory This website hosts the world’s largest list of government agencies on Twitter, tracking state/local, federal, contractors, media, academics, non-profits and government outside of the U.S. Follow on Twitter using the button below and become a Facebook fan at Facebook.com/GovTwit .
  • Utah’s dept of tech services has published a list of standards for internet-based collaboration tools. http://www.utahta.wikispaces.net/Collaboration+Tools+Standard Bob Woolley, chief architect for the state of Utah
  • I.T. and the Social Good

    1. IT and the Social Good How to Better Serve the Public for Less Abbie Lundberg, Lundberg Media Former Editor in Chief, CIO Magazine [email_address]
    3. Wall St. Journal, Sept. 4, 2009
    4. Wall St. Journal, Sept. 4, 2009
    5. “ It’s likely that we're facing a near permanent reduction in state tax revenues that will require us to reduce the size and scope of our state governments. And the time to prepare for this new reality is already at hand.”
    6. Lower Lower Rethink IT Costs Agency Costs Government Photo by Jenny Downing Photo by Lauren Griffiths SopieMuc Photo by Jeff Kubina
    7. Lower the Cost of I.T. Photo by Jenny Downing
    8. Attack fixed costs Photo by Matti Mattila
    9. Low cost of entry Variable capacity Data and application portability … but also data protection risk Cloud Computing hardware software platform Photo by Jenny Downing
    10. Cloud from the Inside Out Photo by Jenny Downing
    12. North Carolina Software as a Service Photo by Massimo Strazzeri
    13. Lighting the Way to the Cloud Photo by Jenny Downing
    15. Google Enterprise, State & Local Govt. <ul><li>District of Columbia </li></ul><ul><li>Los Angeles (announced) </li></ul><ul><li>Alabama Department of Homeland Security </li></ul><ul><li>California Department of Transportation </li></ul><ul><li>City of Hayward </li></ul><ul><li>City of London (Canada) </li></ul><ul><li>County of Fresno </li></ul><ul><li>County of Westchester </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Minneapolis Public Schools </li></ul><ul><li>NIC (State of Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia) </li></ul><ul><li>San Bernardino County </li></ul><ul><li>Westchester County </li></ul>Photo by Jenny Downing
    16. The government should adopt Web-based and free technologies over proprietary ones wherever possible to reduce government spending on long-term maintenance and consulting contracts. - Aneesh Chopra
    17. Lower Agency Costs Photo by Lauren Griffiths
    27. McKinsey: 3 Obstacles to Gov 2.0 <ul><li>Ineffective, overly complex governance </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Web capabilities and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Reluctance to allow user participation in the creation of applications and content </li></ul>Source: “E-government 2.0,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2009
    28. A Call for Better Governance <ul><li>Business ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized </li></ul><ul><li>Accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Clear goals & objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics </li></ul>
    29. Invest in Web Capabilities <ul><li>State should build & share small team of skilled web specialists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability/navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online metrics, marketing & SEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile development </li></ul></ul>
    31. Utah.gov stats <ul><li>64% of eligible Utah drivers renew drivers' licenses online, versus 31% by mail and 4% at a DMV office </li></ul><ul><li>71% of hunting and fishing licenses are purchased online. </li></ul><ul><li>67% of criminal background checks are performed electronically. </li></ul><ul><li>83% of vehicle identification number validations performed by law enforcement agencies are done online. </li></ul><ul><li>54% of birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates are ordered via the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>78% of adoption and foster parent applications are submitted electronically. </li></ul><ul><li>88% of business registration renewals are done online. </li></ul>Source: Government Technology, Sept. 2008
    32. &quot;It's not about just putting a bunch of stuff online. You really need to work with the business agencies to determine what you're trying to accomplish. If the business really drives the process and sees value in providing a service, then you get a much better adoption rate.&quot; - Utah CIO Steve Fletcher Source: Government Technology, Sept. 2008
    33. Gov 2.0 Photo by Jeff Kubina
    34. Photo by Jeff Kubina “ We will work together to establish a system of transparency, public participation , and collaboration . ” - Barack Obama, January 2009
    35. Data.gov “ Data is powerful. It informs and creates opportunities. It promotes transparency and helps to ensure accountability. Yet, it is a challenge to collect, organize and communicate the vast stores of data maintained across the government.” -Viveck Kundra
    36. Photo by Jeff Kubina <ul><li>Two Models of Government </li></ul><ul><li>Vending Machine </li></ul><ul><li>Participative, Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Government as Platform </li></ul>
    37. Social Media’s Brave New World
    38. Are we good enough? Photo by Jeff Kubina
    39. IT’s Role <ul><li>Engage with agency colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Stop duplicating efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage your collective strength </li></ul><ul><li>Fight the FUD </li></ul><ul><li>Move from control to empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Do cost/benefit analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Measure usage, savings </li></ul>
    40. Resources
    46. Thank You [email_address]