January 31, 2013 By Chad Vander Veen
What does it take to be No. 1? Winners of the Center for Digital Government's 2012 Digital Cities Survey ought to know. And they even shared some of their secrets during a webinar held Wednesday, Jan. 30 that was hosted by Bill Schrier, who is the former CIO of Seattle and current Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Government.
Representatives from the first-place cities -- Beth Niblock, CIO of Louisville, Ky; Bill Haight, CIO of Salt Lake City; Dan Rainey, IT director of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Carl Drescher, IT director of Marana, Ariz. -- explained some of the key actions their cities have taken to reach the top spot in the survey. And while common themes emerged during the discussion, it was equally surprising that each city placed high value on different strategies.
But adapting to and leveraging change rang true for every city.
Digital Cities History
For 12 years, the Center for Digital Government, which also is owned by Government Technology's parent company e.Republic, has surveyed cities in four different categories based on population during its annual Digital Cities Survey. Each year there are a number of cities surveyed that consistently rank in the top 10 – cities such as Riverside, Calif., and Augusta, Ga.
Survey criteria focuses on results achieved by cities via the use of technology in operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives despite current fiscal constraints.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.