As I type this, Steve Jobs is in San Francisco preparing to make another announcement about new consumer technology that will no doubt raise the stakes for how information and content is shared through the internet.
For local government, these announcements must be followed by a reasonable question: What does the technology mean for public administration? How can leading-edge user interfaces and hardware work to help government do its job faster and better?
At our recent local government user group, SunGard Public Sector presented a demo to explore just those topics. Using code from our new enterprise-wide software suite, ONESolution, our team built out a proof-of-concept demonstrating how technologies such as Microsoft’s Surface interface and Apple’s iPad can provide real-world benefit to city and county operations. View the demo below, and let us know if you have questions in the comments.
Kindles and netbooks are among the hottest consumer electronic devices on the market. For the city of Sacramento, they’re more than entertainment–they’re critical tools in achieving “paperless” city government. The Sacramento city council now receives all documents pertaining to city business electronically via a Kindle or netbook, provided by the city.
Before the switch, the city consumed one ream of paper per day for each council member for all necessary documents, according to Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino. That amount of paper cost $1,500 per year, per council member. In October 2009, Concolino persuaded the Council to mandate that the city work toward becoming 80 percent paperless over the next several years. Concolino said she knew employee satisfaction with the user experience of electronic documents would determine compliance. In January 2010, she purchased a few Kindles and netbooks and offered demonstrations to Council members and their staffers. Enthusiasm for devices grew quickly, she said.
Other city boards and committees are inquiring about adapting the program for their use, and the only cost involved is the $300 to purchase each device…a nice investment considering the paper savings and sustainability goals achieved.