Connected Government Pays Dividends in Many Ways

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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:19 pm

Imagine this...

A man is out walking his dog and he sees a cracked fire hydrant leaking water. He pulls out his iPhone, launches a mobile application, and in three easy steps submits a picture, description and location of the issue to his local government agency.

A woman working at a local government agency is busy dispatching field crews, running reports, and ordering materials. She receives an e-mail request to approve a work order that has been automatically generated by a citizen's request. She simply clicks approve, and the work order is automatically scheduled into the proper field crew's list of to-do's.

A field crew supervisor checks his mobile unit as his men pack their tools into the back of their truck. The next work request is only blocks away. They load up and move out. Within minutes they arrive to a leaking, cracked fire hydrant.

A City Manager comes out of a meeting at City Hall, quickly making his way to another. On the way, he grabs his Blackberry, accesses his mobile work management application, and checks his management dashboard. Everything looks great. There were 19 work orders open today, 18 have been completed. The last work order is a leaky hydrant, and a crew is already on the scene.

For many municipal industry professionals, a story like this sounds like something made for TV, not the real world. However, with the emergence of affordable, easy-to-use mobile devices and citizen-oriented applications, the simplicity of this scenario is closer to reality than ever before.

More and more, municipal organizations like yours are taking cues from the private sector and integrating technology that connects people, departments and systems. The results are better communication, improved workflow and increased productivity - factors that all combine to create good customer service and notable cost savings.

At its very core, we know that government's function is to cultivate and support community. But what supports government and makes it work? Really, it boils down to three vital pillars - workforce, management and citizens - each with its own special set of needs, yet dependent on each other for success. Here's how.

Efficiency for Workforce...

A connected workforce is equipped with the tools to be efficient. Reliable desktop solutions provide a solid foundation, giving users easy access to accurate information and smarter workflow. Today's mobile technology introduces a new realm of efficiency, allowing workers to respond quickly, be more productive and lower operating costs.

Accountability for Management...

A connected organization is an informed organization. Emerging technology gives managers a real-time connection to vital metrics and information. Through this constant connection, management is positioned to make better decisions, accurately analyze the way that money and resources are being used, and quickly cite opportunities for improvement.

Transparency for Citizens...

A connected citizen takes pride in a world that they help create, driving the demand for transparency, collaboration and participation in government. Mobile and web-based tools respond to that demand, connecting citizens directly to an organization's work management system and allowing them to personally report issues and track how government responds to them.

It's a world powered by connection. And it starts right now. The sooner your organization looks inward and examines how its pillars relate, the sooner you will develop a connective strategy that not only improves operations today, but also prepares you for the future.

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