This is a course blog for the classes on digital government and social media in the public sector" class taught by Professor Ines Mergel at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. The blog posts include comments and ideas from MPA, MAIR and EMPA students studying the use of new technologies in the public sector.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Mobile Technology Creates a Win-Win
Technology Creates a Win-Win
A special report on Enterprise Mobility in the Public CIO journal
highlighted some of the benefits local and state governments can gain by leveraging
technology. Along with this, the article
hints at a resource that few governments are taking advantage of that possesses
a win-win for all parties involved.
Virtually all governments across
America are facing similar situations with shrinking budgets, but also the same
ability to leverage technology, yet few governments have sought new ways to
capture the power that most devices offer. An area where mobile technology is being exploited
for its benefits is the area of emergency preparedness. Unlike most, the county of Pierce, Washington
uses mobile devices to conduct damage assessments of buildings and
infrastructures after natural disasters.
In the past, damage assessments were collected via paper, which led to
input errors as due to human mistake.
Now, field operators can immediately upload the data to the emergency
Pierce County also partners with the University
of Washington to increase its efficiency while lowering its costs had they
contracted out this service. Working
together, these two institutions developed a program where university students collaborate
with Pierce county IT professionals to develop applications during their
internship. The students are exposed to
real life experience along with coaching and other mentorship opportunities. Additionally the students report that this
opportunity sets them apart from others who have never received this
experience. This partnership gives the
city the reach back capability of the students along with free labor. Similar to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center case we recently discussed in class, the University also serves as a
pool or bench for future employment.
The city of Anaheim California is taking a different approach
of the advantages that mobile technology. They have developed an app that allows
residents to report graffiti or non-emergency suspicious activity using their
phones camera and GPS tagging capabilities.
Though these two example are completely different, it shows
that governments can indeed use mobile devices for various uses. Cities can take advantage of the academic institutions
where mobile technology is studied in order to govern more effectively.
There are countless other ways that governments can take
advantage of this field. Does anyone have
any other examples?