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Wednesday
Jul172013

« Government Must Go Mobile or Get Out »

In this Digital Age, we’re currently blazing into the Mobile Period, and piercing the plane of the Internet of Things. It’s all happening so fast, and government agencies continue the struggle to keep pace with the public’s hyperbolic adoption rate of new technologies. When that struggle is lost, a complete replacement – a revolution, so to speak – follows shortly thereafter. Either way, mobile is here.

In this Mobile Period, one that really began with mobile internet access service in 1999, we have reached a growth stage that is mind-blowing: this year, mobile internet traffic will overtake desktop access. Over the next five years, mobile video will grow by 60% each year. The only technology backbone that can support this kind of growth and access is the cloud.

There’s a very clear message here for government agencies: go mobile, stream video, and leverage the cloud.

The idea of the Internet of Things is that all of our tools, all of our interactive objects in life,  will be connected. That’s right around the corner. Government agencies need to connect with their community members before our shoes can talk to our refrigerators.

The mayor of  my 19k population suburb of Chicago still refuses to communicate with citizens via email. Postal mail, in-person meetings, and telephone calls are the only permissible methods. With the ability to control your iPhone with brainwaves on the horizon, the Lowest Common Denominator baseline for engaging citizens has clearly moved. If there are already two mobile connected devices for every man, woman, and child on earth, it is incumbent upon government agencies to embrace mobile technology post-haste.

The need to go mobile does not end with the popularity of the people; inefficiency due to the non-adoption of readily available technology is a black-eye for any elected official. Why are trees and money still wasted on paper agenda creation and distribution? Paperless agendas are more useful and cheaper.  Why do elected officials have to call someone to have them look up details on legislative histories? In 2013, there is no reason this should take two people and hours of time.

The concepts of open government, civic engagement, and mobile access are converging, bringing solutions that embody all of their attributes together, such as streaming government meetings in h.264, or integrating public feedback and community ideas with digital agendas.

As the aphorism goes, the first step in creating change is the hardest, but, with this internet thingy full of information, it doesn’t have to be. Download this whitepaper, Government and the Mobile Advantage, full of tips, lessons, and steps on keeping up with the communication curve. It’s time to go mobile.

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