Thursday, March 13, 2008
Has eGov delivered?
According to Gartner's Richard Harris, as quoted on C-Net, "e-gov [has] failed to deliver on expectations, and the development of "Gov 2.0" will be prompted as much by governments needing to replace legacy applications as any attempt at nurturing greater interaction with their citizens." Oh, has it now? I need to understand where it has failed. Perhaps I misread the expectations, but we are only just over 10 years into the egov revolution and I see thousands of online services delivering value of time and money savings to citizens. I also see increased connectedness of citizens to government and much more active dialogue on all kinds of public issues. Citizens search for government services and information and their searches are rewarded with services and information. Certainly, there is more that government can do, but the revolution is still just beginning and the pace is increasing, particularly in the past few years. In Utah, some services are provided only on the web, at a cost much less than if it were provided through traditional channels. Government is available 24x7, something that certainly did not exist before. In both January and February of 2008, we had more unique visitors to the Utah.gov domain than any month previous. As far as legacy applications, most of those were replace around the turn of the millenium. The need now is to better connect them with web services and semantic web architectures. Even though I disagree with this one statement, I agree that government should continue to adapt web 2.0 technologies to the public sector. We are currently developing a web 2.0 strategic plan that will be an add-on to our existing egov plan. Many government employees are anxiously moving forward with web 2.0 efforts and I don't expect that to slow. We must, however, be focused on doing things that add value to citizens and fit within the bounds of our legal and financial limitations.