Monday, December 14, 2009

Best of 2009 for Digital Government / IT in Utah

It's about time for the wrap on 2009 that I've been doing since 2002. Every year, I have created a top 10 list of digital government achievements in Utah government. I have been maintaining a shared Google Doc to track daily developments on the domain over the past 18 months. There is a lot to choose from this year so it's going to be difficult, but here it is:
  1. New portal - the new portal went live in early June of this year and received rave reviews from across the country. In September, it received the "Best of the Web" award from the Center for Digital Government, which was one of numerous accolades it received throughout the year. The design team from Utah Interactive did an excellent job this year.
  2. Transparency - In May, the Utah Division of Finance and the Transparency Board, introduced, a new website that allows the public to access all of the state's financial records in detail. The creative interface makes it easy to analyze and aggregate specific types of expenditures as well. In light of the growing trend towards open government, this was a big win for those who want to know what the state of Utah is doing. The site was recognized as a top 10 project this year by Government Computing magazine.
  3. Data Center Virtualization and Cloud Computing - Utah is consolidating its (once upon a time) 39 data centers. The state is using virtualization to also reduce its server farm substantially. The savings from this project will be no less than $4 million dollars while providing all kinds of benefits including better scalability and redundancy. In the spring of 2009, Utah CIO, Steve Fletcher, announced a new cloud initiative that would be partially built on this new optimized platform as well as general services from the public cloud.
  4. - dozens of new agency websites were introduced this year, beginning with Governor Huntsman's inauguration in January, with the new just rolling out today. The overall quality of presentation and content continues to improve across the board. Services provided online have increased as well with the statewide total now approaching 900. The Utah Travel Council's new website stands out for its excellent design and excellent use of social media.
  5. Use of Social Media - State agencies are now utilizing social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook (but many other sites as well) to interact with citizens, businesses, and the traditional media. Almost every agency is on Twitter with over 150 Utah government twitter feeds now being aggregated and tracked. There are also 42 new Facebook sites created over the past year. Utah provides an aggregated site at that helps citizens navigate this growing volume of information. Another example of Utah's use of social media is on Slideshare. Most recently, Utah's GIS community is using Google Wave to coordinate future GIS initiatives.
  6. Utah Technical Architecture - Although there will always be a lot to do, we've made a lot of progress in setting technical architecture standards for the state. We set up a wiki using wikispaces that is regularly updated and used for sharing all of the new information that is being developed.
  7. More and Better Multimedia Content - Our first generation multimedia portal had a database with several hundred videos that could be searched, all in a variety of formats. The new portal uses YouTube for a common format and provides a couple dozen channels to all kinds of new videos on topics like wildlife, technology, and transportation. The quality of video content that agencies are producing continues to climb.
  8. Mobile Services - in May, the state introduced the first state government developed iPhone app in the Apple store. Citizens using the app are now able to access current professional license information from anywhere. The Department of Public Safety produced an award-winning PIO portal this year and extended it using HTML-5 as a mobile application. Even more recently, Utah State Parks has created a new iPhone application for mobile users visiting Utah's park destinations.
  9. Innovation Community - USTAR continues to push innovation forward in Utah's science and technology communities. also includes a New Media portal. Lots of innovations coming in areas like nanotechnology, bioengineering, remote-sensing, and renewable fuels.
  10. New Drivers License System - The Utah Department of Public Safety developed the new drivers license system using Google Web Toolkit. Drivers License stations are now equipped with individual point of sale, scanners to capture documentation, and other new capabilities. The system also has an online scheduler which allows customers to post documentation in advance of a prescheduled appointment to streamline the process as much as possible.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Dave, My name is George Ortiz and I run a couple tech start-ups and I am based in Layton. I would love to get your email and send you some questions I had on your Cloud Computing in Government Slide Show and maybe schedule a meeting.

Thank you for your time,

George Ortiz