Governments want to improve service delivery and engagement amongst citizens and stakeholders, and improve worker productivity through the use of modern tools and applications, while meeting the demands of increased expectations on performance management and transparency as budget become more closely scrutinized.
A framework for a connected world
In the past three years there has been a fundamental change in the dynamics between government and citizens, particularly in this new era of consumerization of IT, cloud computing and open data, where issues such as transparency and quality of service are under greater scrutiny than ever before. At Microsoft we see these issues as three dimensions of one theme: Connection. We look at connecting government to citizens, connecting information to government workers, and connecting government agencies together, to achieve higher levels of service, efficiency, and accountability for this and the next generation of citizens.
Connected citizens for greater service delivery and engagement
The explosion of smarter devices and pervasive internet services has given many consumers new levels of access to information. These technology natives include a younger generation of tomorrow’s active citizens, who have high expectations of their government agencies, such as on-demand services with native integration to social media and smart devices. The appetite for government information is now so great that social tools and open data applications, such as those enabled by the cloud, are often the only viable solution to provide these richer, and more personalized experiences, resulting in better served and more engaged citizens.
Connected information for greater transparency and accountability
While providing technology that better supports citizens and workers is a significant step forward, there still remains the challenge of how we connect disparate sources of information to better enable performance management and provide strategic insight internally, while at the same time simultaneously providing information to external stakeholders for onward use and further exploitation. Traditionally these have been difficult and expensive processes to implement. But with the availability of business insight and cloud computing tools, agencies can now provide far greater insight to internal operations, and use open data tools such as SQL Azure to manage and disseminate public information, closing the transparency and accountability loop.