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Not Skynet: A Vision of Government Technology

Put down the aluminum foil hat: we’re not talking about THAT kind of government technology. Although the phrase “government tech” might evoke visions of semi-indestructible Austrian-accented robots, there’s a more realistic (and far more desirable) vision of what connectivity could accomplish at the government level.

Imagine a Washington D.C. where public transit is always on schedule because the bus is being tracked in real-time relative to traffic volume. In this new world, public services are highly responsive, able to deploy with lightning speed. The city can even streamline the way it collects and analyzes data, allowing it to make informed building decisions that offer a better customer experience.

Imagine if, thanks to connected and integrated systems, doing things like applying for benefits, voting, renewing your driver’s license, or paying your taxes were…. wait for it...  simple and streamlined. Gasp.

Come out of the safe room: let’s talk about how being a more connected citizen can make your life better.

Question of the Day

What could a local government accomplish if it had access to high performance connectivity?

The most basic function of a government is to deliver on the demands of its people. And yet there are myriad roadblocks preventing most municipal organizations from performing at peak capacity—bureaucratic bloat, outdated systems, slow project turnaround, you name it! What if we could eliminate redundancies, streamline communication, and bridge the gaps between governments and the citizens they serve?

For example, pretend there’s a nasty crack in the asphalt that’s mercilessly destroying cars every rush hour.

Can you imagine the volume of repair requests coming through from people and businesses every day? Between emails, contact forms, social media, and even snail mail, that’s a staggering amount of data to wade through, let alone address right away. How can the local government know if THIS crack in the road is worse than the five reported last week?

And speaking more proactively, how can local government reduce the number of redundant requests, aggregate their data, secure their findings, and then deploy solutions that get ahead of the curve?

It’s easy to see how integrated solutions could allow these types of problem to be fixed in days, instead of weeks or months.

Local Solutions: Better, Stronger, Faster… and a LOT Smarter

You’ve heard the phrase “working smarter, not harder”, right? That’s what faster and more reliable connectivity is all about. At the government level, it’s more important than ever that participation is simple and accessible so that every single person can easily contribute to their communities.

Whether that’s via a vastly improved voting process that addresses manual issues with vote collection and security, or a move toward virtually hosted city council discussions that encourage citizens to communicate directly with their leaders from across the city.

Connectivity at the local government level could also mean being able to effectively tap the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). This isn’t just sci-fi: the IoT is a growing part of daily modern life, and it’s one of the keys the government can use to harness their full potential.

Of the many technology trends the government is approaching today, the most notable is the move towards smart technology. For example, smart transportation offers solutions like real-time traffic monitoring, smart signal lights, and self-driving vehicles.

Smart energy allows public grids and lighting fixtures to use use energy more efficiently, while integrating solar power or other green technology.

Smart infrastructure positions government municipalities to collect and understand data, equipping them to anticipate and react to issues in the public works system. Gathering data from the source streamlines communications, bridging gaps that have always been a challenge in the past. Smart infrastructure can even aid in disaster response with predictive analytics.

That’s because IoT is not just about having smart devices; it’s also designed to make humans behave smarter too. Deloitte Insights articulates it perfectly saying: “Like birds in a flock, IoT-connected cars and drivers can achieve a kind of collective intelligence.”

Imagine the possibilities when we build solutions based on collective crowd-sourced input! Enabling governments to leverage connections with their citizens more efficiently means that both citizens and governments may discover more intelligent and efficient solutions together.

Free the Data! (From Their Legacy Systems)

Another fantastic move for local infrastructure is the migration to smart data management. When the government takes full advantage of connectivity, it can collect data more efficiently, analyze the results instantly with APIs, and keep that data secure.

For example, the US Census Bureau is currently looking into changing the way it manages data. Through a combination of machine learning and automation, they are essentially trying to “free” their data from the legacy systems currently holding it. Using new technology supported by robust connectivity solutions, the organization is looking to revolutionize the way it gathers, stores, scales, and protects valuable data.

Be a Citizen of the Future… Now

Of course, this future of government technology won’t be possible without one critical factor: YOU.

Don’t believe it?

Consider this: the internet is already an indelible part of society. From the palm of your hand to the transit lines scheduled to pick you up and take you to work, you use the internet for hundreds of things every day. But it’s not working as smart as it could be, and because of this, you’re not enjoying an integrated experience. Partnering with modern connectivity companies is the first step toward a holistic fix. After all, the only force that can ensure that the government commits to embracing the future is the voices of its citizens.

TLDR: Government tech can be a vision of efficiency, powered by robust connectivity solutions, but only when the voices of the people demand it.

The future is connected. Ready to be part of it?