Sunday, April 6, 2014

 US Government`s Digital Strategy: A new way of Democracy 

            Just as I went across President Barack Obama's words: “I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives” I questioned myself that how in contemporary world awash with evolution of cloud computing, smarter mobile devices and collaboration tools is it possible for state and local governments to walk hand in hand with rapid advancements in technology. Digital government has emerged as both an opportunity and a challenge. Unprecedentedly the Federal Government is expected to be a service provider of digital information and services without any constraints of time and place.

            My question was answered when I read about the digital strategy formulated by the U.S. for delivering e-services safely, securely and with minimum resources. In the wake of rapidly advancing technology it is anticipated that in United States mobile broadband subscriptions will cross a figure of 5 billion globally in 2016 as compared to 1 billion in 2011 and by 2015, more Americans will access internet through mobile devices than desktop PCs. Therefore the U.S. Federal Government seeks to make data and content easily and efficiently accessible to citizens the Federal government will chalk out an open data, content and web API policy for all new systems.. Secondly as part of an effective and affordable implementation strategy it would make existing high-value data and content available through web APIs. Thirdly, to facilitate the American citizens with better digital services at low costs it would establish a Digital Services Innovation Center and Advisory Group to develop shared solutions and infrastructure that addresses the content needs of all agencies of the Federal Government through source code sharing tools, language translation, video captioning, web hosting, usability and accessibility testing, and security architectures. Fourthly, the US government would establish Intra-Agency Governance to improve delivery of digital services by streamlining processes that gauge performance and deliver quality content.

At present the Federal Government's expenditure on mobile and wireless services is around $1.2 billion annually. These figures can increase tremendously if agencies switch to an enterprise-wide asset management and procurement model that may assist to expedite adoption of new mobile technologies. The government must make concerted efforts to provide improved digital services by employing modern tools and technologies through collaboration of Digital Services Advisory Group and Federal Web Managers Council.
In a world where cell has become part and parcel of the US citizens` lives who use it for almost every daily chores from wake up alarm clock to maintaining daily schedules. E-government applications and implementation of above initiatives would serve as paradigm shift indeed in the way a government serves people by help citizens to have access to government information and services through mobile platforms. After all technology begets technology.


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