|By Mat Rider||
|July 23, 2014 07:00 AM EDT||
Contributed by Katie Burke, Government Program Specialist at Laserfiche.
“Going digital” has been a topic of conversation in government for many years, yet very few organizations have actually mastered the concept. Digitization brings benefits such as reduced costs, increased efficiency and better service delivery. But with ever-evolving technology and changing demands from citizens and employees, “going digital” can feel like a revolutionary undertaking, rather than an evolution of current practices.
So who are the leaders in digital government, and how are they achieving it? Each year, the Center for Digital Government conducts a Digital Counties Survey, then selects the top 10 respondents among four population cohorts. We’ve spoken with several of this year’s winners about their digital initiatives and they let us in on three secrets to their success:
Secret 1: IT Should Lead Business Analysis
Being a digital county is more than being “paperless.” “Going digital” is more about bringing operations into a digital space, and gaining efficiency in the process. As Michael Wells from Chesterfield County, VA noted, “A bad process doesn’t get any better with digitization and automation; it only gets faster.”
For example, Eaton County, MI, recently reworked its accounts payable process to be more efficient. This initiative involved collaborating with elected and appointed officials county-wide and resulted in savings of over $50,000 annually. Now, other departments are asking to work with IT to redesign their document-intensive processes. This positions IT to be more of an innovation driver, rather than just a service center.
Secret 2: Shared Services Models Truly Are a Win/Win for All
This year’s top digital counties are extending their IT services beyond the confines of county buildings, and are achieving economies of scale, reduced redundancies and better collaboration as a result.
- Tompkins County, NY, has extended its records management program to more than 15 municipalities in the county through its “TSSERR” (Tompkins Shared Services Electronic Records Repository) program. This has helped with information sharing and saved the county millions of dollars in the process.
- Mohave County, AZ, extends its GIS web service to municipalities in the county, allowing other organizations to view property data on every parcel in the county. This program supports better information sharing among the county and the municipalities, as the GIS portal also incorporates data from the City of Kingman and Bullhead City.
Secret 3: Mobility Is an Enabler
Digital counties are looking at ways they can enable operations in the field by putting mobility at the heart of their IT strategy. Cabarrus County, NC, for example, has seen success using iPads in the Department of Social Services for child abuse inspections. The iPads come ready with a program to manage their critical files. This allows DSS workers to take pictures and video, access family history and check the state database all while on-site, which ultimately increases efficiency and improves service delivery.
If you’d like to ask questions and learn more about the process of “going digital,” join us on Tuesday, July 29, at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET for a webinar about the future of digital government. An esteemed panel of experts will discuss business process automation, change management as it relates to policies and procedures, and how to encourage innovation in an agency. Panelists include:
- Dr. Robert Sobie, IT Director of Eaton County
- Catherine Kunst, Director of Operations at the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority
- Jack Miles, Former Secretary of the State of Florida’s Department of Management Services
About the Author:
Katie Burke is Government Program Strategist at Laserfiche. She responsible for creating a variety of resources to educate the state and local government audience, including webinars, articles and white papers on the benefits of electronic document and records management. Within Laserfiche, Katie serves as an industry expert and state and local government advocate. You can follow her on Twitter @katieburke47.
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
Oct. 10, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 232
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 215
Somebody call the buzzword police: we have a serious case of microservices-washing in progress. The term “microservices-washing” is derived from “whitewashing,” meaning to hide some inconvenient truth with bluster and nonsense. We saw plenty of cloudwashing a few years ago, as vendors and enterprises alike pretended what they were doing was cloud, even though it wasn’t. Today, the hype around microservices has led to the same kind of obfuscation, as vendors and enterprise technologists alike ar...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 492
Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend cycles. On the server-side, the current favorite is container delivery: a “full stack” approach in which your application and everything it needs to run are specified in a container definition. That definition is then “compiled” down to a container image and deployed by retrieving the image and passing it to a container runtime to create a running...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 265
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 261
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
Oct. 9, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 650
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Oct. 9, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 935
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 9, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 241
Docker is hot. However, as Docker container use spreads into more mature production pipelines, there can be issues about control of Docker images to ensure they are production-ready. Is a promotion-based model appropriate to control and track the flow of Docker images from development to production? In his session at DevOps Summit, Fred Simon, Co-founder and Chief Architect of JFrog, will demonstrate how to implement a promotion model for Docker images using a binary repository, and then show h...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 187
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Oct. 9, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 167
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 9, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 261
Despite all the talk about public cloud services and DevOps, you would think the move to cloud for enterprises is clear and simple. But in a survey of almost 1,600 IT decision makers across the USA and Europe, the state of the cloud in enterprise today is still fraught with considerable frustration. The business case for apps in the real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform, and difficult. Download this report commissioned by NTT Communications to see the insightful findings – registra...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 302
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Oct. 9, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,107
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley was a terrific event for us. The Qubell booth was crowded on all three days. We ran demos every 30 minutes with folks lining up to get a seat and usually standing around. It was great to meet and talk to over 500 people! My keynote was well received and so was Stan's joint presentation with RingCentral on Devops for BigData. I also participated in two Power Panels – ‘Women in Technology’ and ‘Why DevOps Is Even More Important than You Think,’ both ...
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,679
In a report titled “Forecast Analysis: Enterprise Application Software, Worldwide, 2Q15 Update,” Gartner analysts highlighted the increasing trend of application modernization among enterprises. According to a recent survey, 45% of respondents stated that modernization of installed on-premises core enterprise applications is one of the top five priorities. Gartner also predicted that by 2020, 75% of
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 340
As the world moves towards more DevOps and microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, an Architect/Developer Evangeli...
Oct. 9, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 185
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Oct. 9, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,237
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Oct. 9, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 161
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Oct. 9, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,259
For it to be SOA – let alone SOA done right – we need to pin down just what "SOA done wrong" might be. First-generation SOA with Web Services and ESBs, perhaps? But then there's second-generation, REST-based SOA. More lightweight and cloud-friendly, but many REST-based SOA practices predate the microservices wave. Today, microservices and containers go hand in hand – only the details of "container-oriented architecture" are largely on the drawing board – and are not likely to look much like S...
Oct. 9, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 505