February 7, 2013

Article

Government IT needs a boost

Government operations often seem a bit behind the curve in terms of technology. As businesses and individuals embrace the latest trends and tools, numerous town, city and county councils are using outdated solutions for communication and other needs. According to InformationWeek, if government IT was run more like a startup, it would be able to adapt to the latest technology trends and benefit significantly.

New technologies like social media, streaming video and mobile devices may not be heavily adopted by local government offices yet, but this should change. It would help municipalities address at least one major issue according to the news source – the fact that local governments are just publishing information, rather than taking the time to present it in an engaging way. Social media and other tools can help increase citizen engagement and streamline delivery of information to the public.

There is another important tool that local governments can use to enhance the availability and accessibility of information as well – video webcasting. Open government initiatives demand that municipal officials make council meetings, budgets and other information readily available to the public, and how better to provide access to meetings than with live webcasting? That said, video isn’t always the easiest tool to adopt, and there are certain steps that must be taken to ensure successful and reliable deployment.

Much like a startup investing in new technology, a government office needs to consider how to support video deployment. The best solution is to invest in an enterprise video platform. An enterprise content delivery network enables video streaming without affecting other areas of operations and ensures that webcasting is accomplished with minimal interference from network traffic and other issues. Ultimately, this allows a town or city to stream meetings to other locations and greatly improve public accessibility to the information discussed without disrupting proceedings.

Investing in an ECDN keeps webcasting within a secure network while dramatically improving accessibility. While originally intended for corporate use, a small government could make excellent use of such solutions for government 2.0 efforts and greatly increase both citizen engagement and the efficacy of any transparency initiatives. Rather than wasting money on various initiatives that aren’t guaranteed to enhance the accessibility of information, town, county and city governments should invest it in a reliable and secure solution – one ensuring that interested citizens can actually get involved, and “participate” in meetings without missing a thing.