Far from straightforward: the government mission today

01 February 2013 | Joel Cherkis, General Manager, Worldwide Government

One of the things I appreciate most about my role at Microsoft is that I frequently get to meet in-person with government leaders from around the world. I get to hear about the challenges they face, their successes, and hopes for the future. These conversations are not only inspirational to me, but I believe are what drives us as a company to constantly develop new solutions and creative ways of thinking in order to support governments in delivering on their unique missions.

In government today, it seems that the notion of delivering on a mission is now more complicated than ever before—for many reasons.

• Technology continues to advance exponentially, presenting both challenges and opportunities for government organizations. From cloud computing and big data analytics, to the bring your own device to work phenomenon (BYOD), governments are working to sort out the risks from the rewards (which can be very lucrative). 

• Citizens want—and demand—better services from their governments. Digitalization is a topic that frequently comes up during my discussions with government leaders as they work to align resources and eliminate manual processes to deliver citizen services that are online by default and user-friendly.  

• Transparency—the need to not only deliver on a mission or service, but to keep the public engaged in the process and provide forums for input and consensus building—is being redefined in today’s digital age. From social media to other tactics such as crowdsourcing, open data, and mobile applications for citizens, there is no shortage of options to engage the public. However, determining the best avenues and appropriate resource allocation is a challenge.

And, if these challenges weren’t enough, most governments today are still reeling from the global economic crisis, and are grappling with new expectations at a fraction of their former budgets. What’s clear is that rising to this challenge will require governments to become much more dynamic in how they approach governance. Leaner government organizations, with well-orchestrated resources that are flexible and can adapt to new— and often immediate—requirements is our vision for the future of government. It’s a vision we refer to as dynamic government, which we have shaped in partnership with our customers. In fact, I was recently invited to blog about this topic on Forbes.com, which I invite you to check out.

While there are many challenges ahead, we’re equally excited about the opportunities for the public sector. The convergence of new technologies has never before presented so much opportunity for the public sector to re-imagine how it delivers on its promises to citizens, while keeping the mission in balance with the dynamic world in which government operates. To learn more about governments that are embracing a more dynamic operating posture, I invite you visit the case study page on our Microsoft Dynamics website.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

 
 
Joel Cherkis
General Manager, Worldwide Government