Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Last 10 Years with Utah.gov

Ten years ago, there was no Facebook, no Twitter.  Tim O'Reilly had not even started talking about Web 2.0... that came a year later.  A lot has happened in ten years.  Millionaires have been made.  Services have come and gone.  I started blogging a year and a half earlier in about May of 2002.  I was still using Radio Userland back then.  Some of you may remember it as one of the first online blogging services. In December of 2003, I penned my first top 10 for digital government progress in the state of Utah. 

Here's the list:

  1. Utah wins Best of the Web.  In September, the Center for Digital Government named Utah's portal as first place among all 50 states.  A small delegation received the award at the Best of the Web award ceremony in New York City.
  2. Utah  announces the One Stop Business Registration service.  In August, Governor Leavitt announced this unique service which allows businesses to register seamlessly with 5 state agencies, 3 cities, and the IRS through one simple online process.  The State also rolled out Business.utah.gov, a new business portal at about the same time.
  3. Governor Walker signs an Executive Order creating UWIN - the Utah Wireless Integrated Network.  UWIN brings together dozens of state, local and federal agencies to provide wireless voice and data solutions in a way that greatly leverages existing resources.
  4. Val Oveson appointed CIO.  Val was appointed to the CIO position in January by Governor Leavitt
  5. Utah Cares, the first service provided under the eREP project comes online.  In November, Gov. Walker announced the availability of Utah Cares, a free tool to find state and community services.
  6. Proliferation of RSS news.  RSS becomes a preferred news format for Utah government, allowing user subscription and aggregation of news feeds.  The legislative and judicial branches added RSS feeds to their sites during the year as well.  Expect to see more of this in 2004.
  7. Online campground reservations at State Parks.  This popular service was made available to citizens in May 2003.
  8. One million online job referrals.  Jobs.utah.gov, introduced late in 2002 experience tremendous growth during a challenging year for Utah's economy.  By August 2003, one million job referrals had been made by this popular online service.
  9. 24x7 Live Help - During the summer, Utah introduced 24x7 live help on its portal, the first state in the country to do so.  A network of live help service has developed with many state agencies participating.
  10. More Agency Online Services - State agencies introduced dozens of new online services such as the Company & Agency Search completed by the Utah Insurance Department, DEQ's Generator Site Permitting System, and the Department of Agriculture and Food's License Renewal System.

Looking back, there have been some tremendous changes since then.  Utah.gov, which only had a few hundred thousand visitors a month back then, has become a prime destination for citizens with over 1000 online services and averaging over 1.4 million unique visitors a month in 2013. Over 250,000 businesses have registered using the One-Stop Business service that was rolled out in 2003, saving Utah business startups millions of hours in cost-saving efficiencies.  

Governor Huntsman came in with a strong pro-business stance in 2005, and passed the consolidation of state information technology services into a single department.  Governor Herbert followed, making Utah a top destination for businesses looking for a great place to start and grow. Val Oveson was followed by Steve Fletcher who left the Department of Education in DC to come to Utah as CIO for 7 years.  Then Mark VanOrden took over with a strong emphasis on information security, accessibility, and mobile efficiency.

UWIN, a great vision for the future of mobile public safety networks no longer exists after all public safety radio has moved under the umbrella of UCAN.  FirstNet promises to deliver a national network that encompasses much of the earlier vision of UWIN, but at a much broader level.

RSS is only an afterthought for most people, especially after the demise of Google Reader. We still provide content in this form however for those who still use it.

That one million job referrals in 2003 has burgeoned to over 11 million in 2012. The best is yet to come.  After looking at plans from the Department of Workforce Services, I'm expecting to see continuing improvement to this and some of the other great online services offered by that department.

It's been a great 10 years.  Before the end of the year, I'll create my top 10 list for digital government in Utah for 2013.

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