by Andrea Di Maio | March 1, 2013 | Comments Off
Many commentators have been discussing about the outcome of the last Italian elections, held a few das ago, which resulted in a tie between the two major coalitions (center-left Democratic Party with its allies and center-right People of Freedom) and a surprising success of the new grassroots Five-Star Movement, led by former comedian Beppe Grillo.
In the months leading to the elections, a lot has been said about the new model proposed by the Five Star Movement, which is based on the direct engagement of people through the web, started with Grillo’s highly influential blog. Looking at the success of this model as well as at the key role played by the web in several other elections over the last few years, ranging from the US to Malaysia, the two main coalitions have jumped onto the web and social media bandwagon, suddenly discovering that, despite the official statistics and the never-ending lament about the need for a digital agenda, Italians are way more wired than many think.
While political leaders were spending time tweeting and doing online hangouts, Grillo has been the only leader to spend as much time as possible on the ground, with an endless series of events, which started with a successful tour in Sicily where he swam across the Strait of Sicily, and ended with a huge meeting in Rome that attracted well over half a million people.
Of course he maintained his web presence, but many believe that the secret to his massive success, beyond the radically populist messages, was his closeness to Main Street.
While the Italian situation is very peculiar, there may be lessons to be learned for all those who discount the importance of physical channels, both in politics and in administration. How many of us have stumbled across a web site or an automated voice response system while trying to solve a problem, and have found a real person who has helped us through? How many of us remember a great tax filing online experience over an employee who sat with us to explain how to file?
At the end of the day, which technology will be more essential to win an election? Big data analytics and social media, or a powerful PA system for the candidate’s voice to reach out to people in the streets?
Category: Europe and IT web 2.0 in government Tags: government 2.0, Italy
by Andrea Di Maio | January 30, 2013 | 2 Comments
Crowdsourcing can be an effective means to tap into the so-called “wisdom of the crowd” to solve complex problems, stimulate innovation, slash the cost of research, encourage collaboration across organizational boundaries. Examples like Innocentive or IdeaScalev come to mind, but there are plenty of areas where crowdsourcing can help.
Usually it is applied ex-ante: when we recognize we cannot find a solution or we need an out-of-the-box one, we engage a community – whose size depends on the problem at hand to solve the problem.
However there is another use of crowdsourcing that serves a different purpose. Rather than engaging a crowd to come up with an idea, a solution or a position, or to further develop one that is at a very early stage, the crowd can be engaged after the idea or positions are cast in stone (hence ex-post), to seal it from external criticism.
This tactic can be used by enterprises that see one of their products or services under attack by consumers on different social media platforms, and unleash an army of followers that will praise the product, boost the ratings and aim at tilting the balance in favor of the enterprise.
It can be used by individuals too.
This can be done very tactfully, by just factually arguing in favor of the position: irrespective of the merit of that position, if there are enough followers who are available to support the individual, his critics are likely to be outnumbered.
It can be done less tactfully, in case the supporting crowd does not have enough elements to reinforce and defend the original position or the position is inherently weak. In this case the crowd, either spontaneously or building on a comment by the individual, will focus its attention on the critics, claiming an unfair attitude or even going as far as indirectly threatening of some form of legal retribution.
The main benefit of this defensive tactic is that the average personal bandwidth of people attending the discussion is often insufficient to grasp the origin of the discussion and even to discern about opposing viewpoints. If the debate is then colored by other allegations, attention may spike, but move even further away from the original topic.
The downside is that it is vulnerable to any sort of retrospective research that could highlight behavioral patterns by the enterprise or the individual.
Category: Uncategorized Tags:
by Andrea Di Maio | January 30, 2013 | 4 Comments
Those who happen to read my blog know that I am rather cynical about many enthusiastic pronouncements around open data. One of the points I keep banging on is that the most common perspective is that open data is just something that governments ought to publish for businesses and citizens to use it. This perspective misses both the importance of open data created elsewhere – such as by businesses or by people in social networks – and the impact of its use inside government. Also, there is a basic confusion between open and public data: not all open data is public and not all public data may be open (although they should, in the long run).
In this respect the new experimental site alpha.data.gov is a breath of fresh air. Announced in a recent post on the White House blog, it does not contain data, but explains which categories of open data can be used for which sort of purposes. And the nice surprise is that at the top of the page it says
A collection of open data from government, the private sector and non-profits that are fueling a new economy
There are examples of non-government open data, such as car data streams that already power new insurance business models. There are examples of personal open data, such as personal academic data for students to build personal learning profiles, around which one can imagine an ecosystem of services and applications; or personal health data, such as that supported by the Blue Button initiative. Besides, of course, plenty of government public data in areas like health, commerce, education, finance.
Alpha.data.gov hints to a new role for governments, that can shift from being simple open data providers, to become open data hubs. Whereas I suspect that large information service providers will be willing to position themselves as the open data hub of choice, alpha.data.gov can show the path, raise awareness and ultimately help governments move from being pure providers to being actual consumers of open data.
Category: open government data Tags: open data, open government
by Andrea Di Maio | January 28, 2013 | 2 Comments
For anybody who has been watching the evolution of consumer technology, it is quite clear how devices are becoming obsolescent much sooner than in past years. My parents used the same fridge for over 30 years and the same TV set for almost 20, and my hi-fi has been serving me well for over 20 years. Things have changed with digital technology, and now laptops, tablets, cellphones, TVs get replaced ever few years or – sometimes – every few months.
One thing is to know this, another thing is to experience it. I have been one of the first owner of an iPad in my circle of friends and colleagues. I remember I bought in Chicago a few days after its launch, and when I flew back I had all flight attendants around me watching this strange new device (and making me feel so proud of getting their attention).
Now, less than three years after its purchase, people opening their shiny new tablets during a meeting, look down on me with disdain, watching the unmistakable iPad 1 cover, and I can clearly ask the question in their eye: “is there a problem with this guy? Can’t he afford a new one?”. Oddly enough, if there is somebody at the same table, holding just paper and a pen, people look at him or her with curiosity mixed with respect, and that person can say “I would miss the feel of paper in my hands”.
Until when you concede and buy yourself a device, you have all sort of defenses. If somebody asks you “have you ever considered to buy yourself a tablet?” you can say many things, ranging from “I share one with my partner” to “I am not good at typing and my handwriting is horrible” to “I touch-type so I’d rather use a laptop” to “I’m a Luddite” (although this would be hardly credible for a technology analyst). But if you have the old model, then how do you defend yourself against that the “What’s wrong with this guy?” question in your counterpart’s eyes?
Sometimes people approach me and ask more direct questions: “Don’t you miss the camera?”, “Hasn’t that become horribly slow?”, “How do you manage with apps that can’t be updated any longer?” and so forth.
Reality is that I can’t find the personal business case for upgrading. I have my bunch for applications for watching video, playing and recording music, reading and annotating books and documents. I have lost access to corporate email when I missed the upgrade to iOS 6, but I have other devices for that.
I admire those who keep upgrading and buying themselves the latest toys, and even find ways to give their old models to their kids. But, when I try to figure the scene at my place, I can already hear my kids saying “You got it wrong Dad. You keep the old clunker, and we get the new model”.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: iPad
by Andrea Di Maio | January 25, 2013 | Comments Off
Government organizations around the world have been on a continuous path toward greater IT efficiency as a result of overall spending cuts and budget reductions driven by the economic and financial situation in most of the developed world.
An excellent report recently published by the UK National Audit Office shows that recipes for IT cost containment applied by the UK government, especially in the area of better and more consolidated procurement, are delivering the expected results.
There are jurisdictions where there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to IT cost containment: insufficient coordination and standardization, complexity and devolution of decision making processes, conflicts of interest or even corruption get in the way.
But in many places, and the UK is one of them, IT cost containment has been relentless pursued, and one might argue that government IT organizations both at national and local level are close to the bones and to not being able to reduce their costs any further. On the other hand spending projections for the next several years in the same jurisdictions indicate that more savings are expected through headcount reduction and other measures to bring down operational spending.
For them, a proportional cost reduction is no longer an option. In order to sustain citizen services and discharge their statutory obligation, they will be force to automate, transform and digitize much further. Although individual technologies become cheaper, the simple magnitude of the digitization ahead is such that IT spending cannot decline any further.
This seems to be confirmed by some Gartner data (in particular Forecast: Enterprise IT Spending for the Government and Education Markets, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 4Q12 Update – client access required), where especially at state and local level, but also at national level (albeit a bit later), a decline in IT spending reduction and a return to growth around 2014.
After years when government IT professionals were struggling to prove the value of IT, we may be at a point where their business colleagues finally understand.
However more IT spending does not mean more IT spending by the government IT departments. The use of consumer and commodity technology is likely to shift IT spending from the IT department to IT users.
Therefore, in order for that spending to really help cushion the impact of overall budget cuts rather than be wasted into multiple streams, it is essential for government CIOs to become good shepherds: they must strike the right balance between what they need to control and what they can leave to their IT users to choose.
Category: IT management Tags: cost cutting
by Andrea Di Maio | January 15, 2013 | 9 Comments
Yesterday I had yet another client conversation – this time with a mid-size municipality in the north of Europe – on the topic of the economic value generated through open data. The problem we discussed is the same I highlighted in a post last year: nobody argues the potential long term value of open data but it may be difficult to maintain a momentum (and to spend time, money and management bandwidth) on something that will come to fruition in the more distant future, while more urgent problems need to be solved now, under growing budget constraints.
Faith is not enough, nor are the many examples that open data evangelists keep sharing to demonstrate value. Open data must help solve today’s problems too, in order to gain the credibility and the support required to realize future economic value.
While many agree that open data can contribute to shorter term goals, such as improving inter-agency transparency and data exchange or engaging citizens on solving concrete problems, making this happen in a more systematic way requires a change of emphasis and a change of leadership.
Emphasis must be on directing efforts – be they idea collections, citizen-.developed dashboards or mobile apps – onto specific, concrete problems that government organizations need to solve. One might argue that this is not dissimilar from having citizens offer perspectives on how they see existing issues and related solutions. But there is an important difference: what usually happens is that citizens and other stakeholders are free to use whichever data they want to use. The required change is to entice them to help governments solve problems the way governments see them. In other terms, whereas citizens would clearly remain free to come up with whichever use of any open data they deem important, they should get incentives, awards, prizes only for those uses that meet clear government requirements. Citizens would be at the service of government rather than the other way around. For those who might be worried that this advocates for an unacceptable change of responsibility and that governments are at the service of citizens and not the other way around, what I mean is that citizens should help governments serve them.
Leadership for open data initiatives should move from people dealing with communication, civic engagement and the likes, to people who are responsible for government performances and budgets. In our Open Government Maturity Model (client privileges required) published a few years ago we said that a symptom of maturity for open government is when its responsibility stays with the Chief Financial Officer rather than the Chief Information Officer or Public Information Office. Open data must become a tool to address resource and service problems, before (or alongside) been seen as a tool for transparency and economic value creation.
It is quite remarkable how almost all my inquiries on this topic are with clients who have almost come to the same conclusion, but they are often worried to make this shift as they believe they would incur political opposition by those who are firm believers of the purity of letting citizen do whatever they like with open data. These two views are not antithetic, but it is clearly an area where open data pundits should stop banging the drum of long-term value and start rolling their sleeves to sell the shorter-term value from a government perspective.
Category: open government data Tags: government 2.0
by Andrea Di Maio | December 31, 2012 | 1 Comment
With an agreement between Democrats and Republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff not yet in sight despite a fast-approaching deadline, it is fair to assume that government CIOs and IT leaders in the US federal government will have to deal with cost reductions as a key priority.
The long tail of the fiscal cliff, which implies a combination of tax hikes and automatic budget reductions, is likely to impact other government tiers as well as governments in other countries, as a consequence of its recessionary effect.
I do remember when, between 2007 and 2008, a group of Gartner government analysts worked on what would have been the very first piece of a long series of research notes on cost optimization (Cost Cutting in IT to Cope with the Economic Slowdown – client access required) in response to the consequences of the Global Financial Crisis. Throughout 2008 and 2010 we got plenty of public and private sector client inquiries on the topic.
Cost optimization remained an important issue throughout 2011 and 2012, but we are already seeing an increased focus in the federal space, in anticipation for what might happen next year.
Many of the approaches to reduce IT costs are the same: better vendor management, extending useful life for equipment, consolidating and sharing assets and services within and across agencies.
However technologies have evolved. The impact of enterprise-ready, consumer-grade mobile devices and applications, the use of social networking across the organization and not only for communication and public affairs purposes, and the increasing availability of cloud-based services that leverage global-class infrastructure to provide economies of scale cannot be ignored.
Those who are confronted with budget constraints today have more options. More of the same (such as shared services or procurement consolidation) will certainly help, but some of the new options may challenge the status quo or the common wisdom. For instance, as I wrote in How the Cloud is Affecting Government CIOs and Shared Services (client access required).
The increasing availability of commercial cloud services offerings will challenge both the value proposition of shared-service organizations to agency CIOs, and also the value proposition of agency IT organizations to their business users.
Interestingly enough this research note received lower ratings than usual from our readers. I am still wondering whether this is because it is conveying an uncomfortable message about the new balance between enterprise and consumer technology and between business and IT.
Despite individual opinions and preferences, the challenges ahead in case the US go over a fiscal cliff – but equally in Europe if the situation with huge sovereign debts is not alleviated or in other regions as a consequence of a global slowdown of the economy – are serious enough to command the examination of all possible options to make government services and operations affordable and sustainable in the years to come.
Category: cloud social networks in government Tags: cost cutting, US
by Andrea Di Maio | December 20, 2012 | 5 Comments
For the fourth year in a row, here is my (absolutely personal) top ten in the area of government innovation. Over the last three years the title was “Top Ten for Government 2.0”, but this term is less relevant today. What is relevant is to focus on how governments around the world are looking for technology solutions and approaches that they can afford, that help sustain government service and operations going forward, and that help cross traditional boundaries between different organizational silos and constituencies.
I have no presumption of being exhaustive. or even fair, and I am sure I may be missing great things that happened around the world. As usual, this ranking is my own, and – as such – totally arbitrary. My choice is based on topics, issues, individuals, jurisdictions that I have come across in my analyst role.
Once again, I would like to thank and offer my best seasonal wishes to all those professionals – in government and in the vendor community – who work hard to help make governments smarter. Their job is unlikely to get any easier going forward, but it is a very exciting time for technology, with the nexus of cloud, social, mobile and big data offering new ways to address old problems and creating entirely new opportunities.
As usual, the list is in reverse order, from number ten to number one.
10. Canada: Great People, Great Challenges
Over the years, I have found a lot of interesting examples of IT innovation and new IT approaches in Canada. For example, they were the first to implement a large scale wiki for intra-agency collaboration and the first to successfully apply enterprise architecture to government service transformation. More recently they have embarked in the largest scale whole-of-government IT consolidation project that I am aware of, and I have also come across a couple of agencies that are using scenario-planning techniques to improve IT strategic planning. Both at federal and at provincial level, Canada remains a place to watch.
9. Open Data Advocates: Training for a Marathon
I know I have not been very complimentary of some open data efforts. Despite my cynicism, I really think that all those who are involved in pushing for more open data should be commended for their passion and persistence. Sooner or later their efforts will lead to sustainable value creation, both in terms of greater process efficiency and service effectiveness, but also in term of actual economic value accrued by businesses and benefiting the society as a whole. They just need to persist and – maybe – find new ways to keep the open government lights on, going beyond the gathering of enthusiasts (be they hackatons or datapaloozas) and the rather stale application contests. As I said recently, open data is not for sprinters.
8. Using the Euro Crisis as a trigger for change
The last 18 months have been problematic for several European countries and for the whole eurozone, with worries that quite negative scenarios may unfold. Luckily enough risks seem to have been contained so far and many are sighing in relief, although we are not entirely out of trouble. From what I can tell, governments have not been doing much to prepare and manage the risk for or with technology, so this entry is a bit off topic but worth mentioning. I came across one organizations in the consumer goods sector where the board decided to step up preparedness for scenarios contemplating the exit of one or more countries from the eurozone. While this exercise was expensive, it revealed a number of areas for optimization, mostly in supply chain management and communications, and constitutes a great example of how to turn a risk into an opportunity. This is an important lessons for governments too, as they try to be smarter and more sustainable.
7. Ontario: Shared Services that Keep Working
In our research on shared services there are not many successful, large scale examples that show the sustainability of this model. The province of Ontario in Canada is different. We wrote a case study several years ago (client access required), and it has been working for more than a decade. Interestingly enough, despite the success they are changing the model, recognizing that the world does not stand still and what may have been a compelling proposition years ago needs to be reassessed. Inability to change is one of the main causes for shared services to fail, and Ontario offers the perfect example of a jurisdiction that remains ahead of the game.
6. Moldova: A Smart Developing Country
Two years ago I went to Chisinau, Moldova, invited by the World Bank, as part of an expert group on e-government. At the time I had the impression that the political situation was still in flux and that the country would not be able to fully leverage the funding received from the World Bank to realize its e-government ambitions. But thanks to the effort of people like Stela Mocan (which I mentioned also in last year’s top ten) they came quite a long way and are also very active players in the Open Government Partnership. This is another example, after Estonia a few years ago, of how jurisdictions in less developed region can use funding very effectively: definitely a counterexample with respect to the stories we hear from countries like Greece or Italy, which wasted a fair amount of their EU funding,
5. US Digital Government Strategy: Gold Nuggets in a Short Term Package
When it was published in May I was not entirely complimentary of the strategy (see blog post and Gartner research note for clients), highlighting its short term nature. However it does contain interesting elements that may have a longer term impact. One above all is the conceptual model it introduces, which distinguishes an information, a platform and a presentation layer, moving the traditional customer-centric focus from citizens to encompass employees, too. The conceptual model suggests that agencies should focus on more-effective data management, as well as on building a platform of services (including access to data through APIs), and that services and data should be conveyed to their actual consumers through a combination of private- and public-sector players. Although the strategy does not really explore this in its closer deadlines, it sets a precedent for a new way of developing mission-critical systems.
4. National Audit Offices: Challenging the Common Wisdom
While CIOs, CTOs, open government activists, e-government experts, consultants and vendors spread their wings to try new ways to make governments smarter by technology, we need people who keep us with our feet on the ground. Auditors are rarely praised for what they do, and they often intervene when it is too late (how many audit reports concern failed projects?). They all do a great job, and sometimes their warnings are timely enough for their colleagues in government to listen and have time to change course. The UK National Audit Office is a great example, with its reports on shared services and on open government, both of which highlight the gap between promises and reality and provide useful suggestions for improvement.
3. UK: Beyond government-issued identity
Countries like Italy are still convinced that issuing digital identity cards is the way to go, based on the earlier success in Estonia ands the large scale program in India. On the other hand, the British government is being smart enough to rely on an identity assurance scheme that should ultimately allow people to use credentials of their choice (a debit or credit card, a phone, even a social media identity) to access services, provided those credentials complies with the requirement of the scheme. This is a far more modern and realistic way of dealing with identity management, recognizing that people will always deal online with several other entities more than with government.
2. Denmark: Beyond Open Data
As I said above, open data will ultimately deliver the value it promises, although in a longer time than some hope or had anticipated. An important side effect of all those efforts is the gradual realization that open data principles should not apply only to public data, but to “any” data. The report on basic data published by the Danish government is an important contribution to this new thinking, that transpires from the US digital strategy and is starting influencing the modernization of legacy systems in Europe too.
1. Australia: Exemplary IT Leadership
I have always been a fan of what Australian government organizations have been doing in terms of IT innovation, and in fact they have been mentioned in my top ten in past years. This year though I would just like to recognize their whole-of-government leadership at the federal level. Ann Steward, who is retiring at the end of this year, and the new CIO and CTO, respectively Glenn Archer and John Sheridan, who have been supporting Ann and AGIMO for several years. I have read criticisms about splitting these roles and about a possible diminished role for AGIMO. My take is that these people know what they are doing, and they have the experience, diplomacy and business acumen to make a positive contribution to modernization and efficiency, irrespective of organizational details.
Thank you all for reading my blog through 2012. Let me wish you, your families and friends a Happy New Year.
Category: e-government open government data scenario planning shared services in government Tags: Australia, Canada, Denmark, UK
by Andrea Di Maio | December 17, 2012 | 2 Comments
After the announced retirement of long-standing Australian Government CIO Ann Steward, the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation has announced the creation of two distinct roles.
The work of AGIMO has been diverging over time between two distinct areas: whole of government policy and governance, and whole of government services delivery (eg, networks, online, contract management). As such we have created two distinct roles to serve each of these areas more fully. […]
Glenn Archer will be taking the role of Australian Government Chief Information Officer, providing ICT Governance and policy investment advice around information and ICT for whole of government.
John Sheridan will be taking on a newly created role of Australian Government Chief Technology Officer, providing whole of government service delivery and support including networks, online services and ICT procurement. John will also take on the wider role of Australian Government Procurement Coordinator.
This is really good news for the Australian government. Glenn and John have been Ann’s deputies for a number of years, and have been very influential to many of the advances that AGIMO has led, from the Government 2.0 activities to the more recent Data Center as a Service moves to progress on cloud adoption.
Both very sociable, smart and experienced professionals, they are the living proof that insiders can perfectly fill high visibility executive roles, without necessarily appointing people from outside government, like the US and especially the UK have kept doing over the last few years.
I am confident that Glenn and John will build on the great work that they have done with Ann and lead the whole Australian federal government to new levels of technology-enabled transformation and performance. I am also personally very pleased to see that the public sector is able to recognize its best people with new and challenging roles.
I wish them both a great success!
Category: cloud e-government web 2.0 in government Tags: Australia
by Andrea Di Maio | December 14, 2012 | 4 Comments
Yesterday Gartner held a local briefing in Milan on the topic of Smart Cities. This was attended by local government, vendors and research organizations. Bettina Tratz-Ryan, who is our lead for Sustainability research, and myself were joined by Renato Galliano, Director for Economic Innovation and University of the City of Milan, and Michele Vianello, General Manager of the VEGA Scientific Park in Venice.
Bettina and I shared the Gartner view that smart city endeavors need to be focused on specific city problems, must leverage existing infrastructure, skills and financial resources, and must be developed in an evolutionary fashion rather than being dealt with as top-down programs. In particular we made the point that smart cities are a means to an end: the end – be it financial sustainability, environmental sustainability, better quality of life, attractiveness for business, and so forth – is what matters, and smartness must be employed and deployed to achieve that end.
We also made the point that “smart” should not be read as “intelligent”. This would indeed assume that most cities are not intelligent today, just because they have not poured millions of dollars into technology. The right synonym to be used is “astute”.
Being astute means to be able to make the best possible use of scarce (and declining) resources. It means to effectively leverage available funding. It means to reuse as much as possible of what exists. It means to realize that sustainability requires collaboration within and across traditional boundaries.
Despite the lack of any prior coordination, both guest speakers supported this view. Galliano stressed the need for collaboration between five different constituencies to make smart cities a reality: government, the business community, citizens, the technology sector and the finance sector. I found the latter quite intriguing, since financial support is essential to make these initiatives sustainable over time. There are often discussions about how smart city business models should rely on public private partnerships with the business community and with vendors, but very little attention is given to the role and maturity of banks and other financial services firms to help cushion the risk.
Vianello, who was the former deputy mayor of Venice before moving to head the innovation park, highlighted that, before building more infrastructure, cities should start leveraging the best infrastructure they have, i.e. citizens themselves. An increasing number of citizens carry devices – like phones, tablets, GPS-enabled cameras – that turn them into sensors: the example of Waze and how it is used in cities like San Francisco comes to mind.
But he went further, challenging those countries – like Italy – that are pursuing an electronic ID card scheme: he argued that the ultimate identifier of anything (an object or a person) should be an IP address.
We also touched upon open data initiatives, which are often seen as part of smart city programs, as well as the role of strategic planning.
On the former, the sentiment prevailed that open data is indispensible as a potential source of value for government, businesses and the society at large. However there was also broad agreement that there is little evidence so far that value is being realized and that there is need for some form of open data portfolio management and examples where value is being accrued inside the administration.
On the latter, Vianello argued that because of the rapid pace of technology change (and related citizen behavioral changes), doing a strategic plan for a smart city is futile, and one has to adopt evolutionary models, based on subsequent pilots. A representative from the City of Genoa, which has a good reputation for its smart city initiatives in the country, challenged him and stated that without some degree of strategic planning most of these initiatives go nowhere. As usual the right answer is in the middle: the absence of any strategic planning is unacceptable, but it is essential to use techniques that help deal with uncertain futures, like scenario planning. They would lead to alternative strategic plans (depending of how technology, economy and society would interact to shape the future) and to identify those commonalities across plans that indicate relatively safe bets for investment.
We also discussed about the risks that national or European funding may cause (incidentally, a decree about smart community funding was approved by our parliament yesterday). While most people look at this funding as a blessing ,the rules and constraints that come with it and the leading role that vendors and academia tend to play, may steer smart city initiatives away from those areas that need them most. As a result they may turn into interesting one-off experiences that do not stick into local governments as part of a longer-term transformation process.
The bottom line is that real necessity (problems to be solved) remains the best driver, and smartness does not mean intelligence but astuteness. Therefore the best advice for cities to become truly smart is the same Steve Jobs gave to Stanford students: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”.
Category: e-government Europe and IT smart government Tags: smart city